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Corruption Allegations: Lawmakers commence probe of NBET Boss

Charge anti-corruption committee to investigate firm from 2015 till date

LAWMAKERS in the House of Representative on Tuesday commenced an investigation into several corruption allegations against Marilyn Amobi, Managing Director, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Company (NBET) after weeks of repeated postponements of the hearing.

The allegations range from abuse of office and flouting of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) on awarded contracts.

The hearing which ought to hold on 5th May was postponed to 12th of the same month.

On 12th May, the motion was again raised by Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House but it was not discussed until today.

The House of Representatives, however, directed its committees on Anti-corruption, power and financial crimes to probe the firm from 2015 till 2020.

Mohammed Wudil, Rep member from Kano state, had raised a motion on the floor of the House regarding the allegation. The motion was seconded by Maria Onuoha.

According to him, the motion was borne out of several complaints against the company bothering on gross abuse of power which were forwarded to the House Committee on Power.

He said the prayer of the motion was to mandate the House Committees on Power, Anti-corruption and Financial Crime to carry out investigation on the allegations and revert to the House for further legislative actions.

The motion was, however, voted on and adopted.

“The Committee on Power in receipts of complaints against NBET since the inception of the agency necessitated this motion,” he stated.

Wudil emphasised that anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation had earlier investigated the agency.

The Speaker, however, directed the Committees to investigate the matter and report to the House within two weeks for further deliberation and actions.

Investigation on NBET and Amobi has been on-going since 2019 when the House initially commenced probe against the agency and its head over alleged N90 billion fraud and flouting of the procurement law.

The ICIR, last year February also reported on the allegations against Amobi.

Some of the suspected fraudulent actions include overpayment to selected power generating companies – Olorunsogo and Omotosho power generating companies, undue payment to law firms and consultants.   

On 12th January, the NBET boss was also indicted in another N517 million graft.

A report by OAGF accused Amobi of contract splitting to Julius Berger, in different amounts, separate award letters within a short period.

Sale Mamman, the new Minister of Power, however, removed Amobi in January following the controversies but she was later reinstated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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