EFCC declares Obasanjo’s minister wanted over $6bn alleged fraud

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared the former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, wanted over an alleged $6 billion fraud.

The anti-graft agency announced this on Wednesday, December 13, on its official website in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dele Oyewale.

In the statement, EFCC appealed to Nigerians with useful information about the former minister’s whereabouts to report to the nearest Police station or the anti-graft agency’s zonal office.

“Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the  commission in its Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Mardi, Ilorin, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Uyo, Port Harcourt, and Abuja offices or contact 08093322644 or email [email protected] or the nearest Police station and any other security agencies,” it declared.

EFCC’s statement declaring Agunloye wanted on Wednesday, December 2023.

Agunloye, who served under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003, had earlier been quizzed by the EFCC.

In September this year, Obasanjo accused the former minister of mismanaging the Mambilla power project during his tenure and alleged that Agunloye fraudulently awarded the project contract without the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

Initially awarded in 2003 to Sunrise Power and Transmission Limited, the proposed 3,050-megawatt plant in Mambilla, Taraba State, is expected to be the largest power-generating installation in Nigeria and one of Africa’s largest hydroelectric power stations.

However, the project has been the subject of decades of legal dispute between the company and the Nigerian government.

In 2008, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who succeeded Obasanjo, terminated the project.






     

     

    In November 2022, The ICIR, in one of its reports, stated that the EFCC launched an investigation into the project.

    In his defence, Agunloye described Obasanjo’s accusation as baseless, false, and malicious, arguing that the former president was incorrect when he referred to the award to Sunrise simply as a $6 billion contract (about N800 billion in 2003).

    Agunloye said the project was a build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract in which the Federal Government did not need to pay any amount to the contractor, Messrs Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (Sunrise).

    “As a matter of fact, Sunrise has not been paid a single naira or dollar by the FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria) from 2000 till date (14/9/23),”  Agunloye was quoted to have argued.

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