The Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, has denied an online report of a N3.2 billion scandal in the agency.
The news item by an online portal reportedly bore the headline, ‘Aisha Buhari, Monguno Named in Dokubo’s Fresh N3.2bn Scandal’.
In a statement on Tuesday, Murphy Ganagana, Special Assistant (Media) to Prof Charles Dokubo, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, said: “The fake news carried purported bromide of contract letters awarded to two companies which, the publishers alleged, were fictitious jobs contracts amounting to N3.2 billion awarded within a period of one month to two companies fronting for the Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo.”
Ganagana noted that the report further alleged that the two companies, Messrs. Innotek Royal Services Limited and Glassfa Continental Limited, had been paid for the job even when the companies were yet to commence work.
“It (the online portal) garnished its sacrilegious adventure by alluding that the highly revered wife of Mr. President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, and the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, were direct or indirect beneficiaries of contract scams at the Amnesty Programme,” he stated.
Putting the records straight, he said: “It is true that a contract for empowerment of 300 Niger Delta youths in oil and gas instrumentation was awarded to Messrs Glassfa Continental Limited, and another contract for training and empowerment of 400 delegates in coastal fishing was awarded to Innotek Royal Services Limited.
“However, the two contracts in question were beyond the threshold of the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme.
“Therefore, in line with statutory guidelines and regulations, a Due Process No Objection was sought and obtained from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) vides a letter OSAPND/GCL/VT/2018/11010 dated 19th October, 2018.
“Consequently, approval for award of contracts to the two companies was granted by the BPP.
“Contrary to the allegation that payment had been made to the two companies even though work has not commenced, we wish to state with emphasis that NO DIME has been paid to any of the two companies.
“It is pertinent to state that processes leading to payment of 15 percent of contract sum are yet to be completed for the two companies which have not been handed delegates for training. Files of the two companies on the contracts have not reached the Prof. Dokubo’s table.
“On the allegation of 30 companies discovered to have been perpetrating contract fraud worth billions of naira by an external auditing committee said to have been inaugurated by Prof. Dokubo, it existed only in the imagination of the publishers of Pointblanknews as NO such committee was inaugurated at the Amnesty Office under Prof. Dokubo, and no contract fraud was unearthed at any time.
“In an attempt to ‘deliver’ a promise to its paymasters to splash muddied water on Prof. Dokubo and the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the publishers of Pointblanknews threw good reasoning and professional ethics to the winds by alleging that caused the approval of N190.5 million to a private law firm as fees for annual in a curious manner.
“The fact is that engagement of private legal services on annual retainership is a standard practice undertaken by Ministries, Departments and Agencies within the country and globally, and the external solicitors for the Amnesty Programme were engaged after due processes were followed and approval granted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“On the alleged award of contracts to associates of the National Security Adviser and members of his family, as well as the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, we wish to state that this allegation is malicious and mischievous.
“Neither the NSA nor the First Lady had ever requested for, or secured contracts for their associates or family members who are not even known to the Amnesty Office.
“The allegation that Prof. Dokubo has been boasting that he cannot be sacked as a result of his ties with NSA and the First Lady is a dangerous and wicked lie calculated at inciting and creating gullies of bad blood in the cordial relationship between the Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, and the NSA, General Monguno, a highly respected, disciplined and incorruptible military officer with impeccable and enviable records in a career that spanned over three decades.
“It is also on record that the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, like Mr. President, abhors corruption and will not encourage fraudulent activities.
“We urge members of the public to discountenance the report in its entirety as it is the handiwork of an angry and hungry bunch whose attempt to coerce Prof. Dokubo to award them contracts was courageously rebuffed by him. They have threatened and vowed to fight dirty to remove him from office, but their evil machinations will come to naught.”