Adamawa investigates contracts by past government

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

The Adamawa State Ministry of Justice says it intends to carry out a legal forensic analysis of the report of the investigative panel on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, MDG contracts under Nyako administration.

This is to determine and isolate cases of criminality.

The panel, constituted a few months ago said that it recovered over four billion Naira as fraud.

The  committee members said “they went round all the 21 local government areas, where there were claims that the MDG projects were carried out and made the discoveries.”

Project poorly done
The report said the committee found out that the contractors in collaboration with the  consultants, project managers and project coordinators had defrauded huge amounts of money from the state while the execution of most of the projects were poorly done.

Adamawa State Governor, Jibirilla Bindow had given the Ministry of Justice the directive to take all necessary action against contractors, who allegedly absconded with about 4.8 billion Naira funds meant for the Millennium Development Goals, MDG, projects during the last administration.

Speaking to Voice of Nigeria, the Adamawa State Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Bala Sang’a said after cases of criminality were determined, the government would file charges against anyone involved.

Transparency and accountability
Governor Bindow gave the directive when he received the report of the panel, saying his administration thrived on transparency and accountability and that the misuse of state resources will not be overlooked.

“The era of short-changing the people of the state has gone and this administration is committed to clearing the rot in the system,” Governor Bindow said.

He reiterated his government’s resolve not to tolerate any form of corruption and gave the assurance that the report would be carefully studied for other necessary action.

Panel’s findings
The Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Bala Sang’a explained some of the findings of the panel.

“There were a lot of misapplications and theft of funds, about 4.7 billion naira and this came about because there were projects which were never completed, there were projects that never took off at all and yet monies were paid for them. So we’ve deduced a high level of corruption and criminality involved in the application of those funds. What is totally unacceptable here, if it is true, is the facts that payments were made for projects that never took off and even those that payments were made for, some of the projects were never completed. We would also be studying the report to see if there are breaches of the laws regarding procurement,” Mr. Sang’a said.

The Adamawa State Commissioner of Justice also said the government of the day had been insisting on due process in the award of contracts, absence of corruption and conflict of interest in the award process, saying “public money is a trust that cannot be misapplied.”

He said Adamawa State had set the tone by setting the banner very high, with the conviction of a democratically elected governor.

The Commissioner believes this will send a message to other contractors and public officers that there are criminal sanctions attached to any breach of trust.

’’The government remains concerned about the level of carelessness and impunity being exhibited by some public officers, who assumed they could tamper with public funds and get away with it,” he stated.

The Chairman of the Panel, Alhaji Bellel said the committee also uncovered huge sums as un-remitted tax within the time under review.

Mercy Chukwudiebere