N2.9 BN Contract Fraud Rocks Amnesty Office

….Makes 100 percent upfront payment to the firm a few days before the end of Ndiomu’s tenure

Barely a week to the end of the tenure of Maj Gen BT Ndiomu as the Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Office, a scandal involving a control worth N2.9 billion

The Amnesty Office is awarding the contract to Alom Aviation Limited to train 139 Pilots in France and South Africa

investigation reveals that a 100% Contract Sum has been paid upfront to the firm in violation of procurement procedures and laws.

Investigations reveal that the company Alom Aviation Limited is being fronted by top aides in the office of the interim administrator.

When the Interim Administrator was appointed in October 2022, he made it clear that his mandate was to wind down the programme.

He abruptly brought to an end all existing training programs and contracts and disengaged the delegates.

Investigations also show that the Interim Administrator’s appointment does not give him the power to award contracts.

There is strong speculation that the wild deviation from procurement protocol as reflected by the payment of N2.9 billion total contract sum may have been inspired by the uncertainty surrounding the office of the Interim Administrator and his team.

A source at the Amnesty Office said that the Office of the National Security Adviser which supervises the Amnesty Office is looking into multiple petitions lodged against Gen Ndiomu at the office.

The source said that the chances of Ndiomu’s return to the Amnesty Office are very remote.

It should be noted that under the Procurement Act, 2019, the mobilization fee for all government contracts is 30%.

Some members of staff of the Amnesty Office in critical positions who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that it was “odd will pay 100% for a contract that is yet to commence, let alone completed.”

The investigation also reveals that the Staff of the Account Department who are aware of this payment have been forced to take a non-disclosure oath and have been threatened with dismissal should the scandal get to the public.

Calls put through to some of the delegates equally show that the Amnesty has paid for 100% of the contract.

They revealed that out of the 139 delegates, about 60 of them are Maintenance Engineers whose training is to be conducted in Lagos at the Leads Stream Aviation owned by one Engr. Roland.

Investigations further showed that the pilots are to be trained in France by Green Africa Airline and at Sim Aero in South Africa.

“Our investigation reveals that the training Centre in Lagos is not yet ready.

“Meanwhile, the office told the delegates that the reason for the delay in deploying them is because of the petitions written against IA at the NSA. The IA doesn’t want the matter to get to the public.”

There were reports that the Presidential Amnesty Office is being rocked by a raging controversy over N1.9 billion deducted from trainees and beneficiaries of the programme.

The alleged fraud involved the office of the Head of Reintegration of the office.

The N1.9 billion was alleged to have been deducted from contracts that were executed under the Train, Employ, and Mentor Programme initiated by a former Interim Administrator, Col Dikio.

Under the TIEM, the beneficiaries of the programme were to be trained, employed, and mentored to prevent them from straying after the programme.

Investigations revealed that when General Ndiomu (Retd.) took over, there were 1,200 delegates in training which he stopped. He was said to have conducted graduation for all of them as he was under instruction to bring the program to an end.

It was gathered that the contracts were renegotiated and the Reintegration Department removed the ‘Employ and Mentor’ component with the promise that the beneficiaries would be outrightly empowered.

It was gathered that the Integration Office deducted funds from the contracts and kept N1.9 billion meant to empower the delegates.

After waiting endlessly for outright empowerment, the beneficiaries and office staff are complaining that the N1.9 billion component deducted from the contracts has been diverted by the office.

The contractors involved are Bradama International Skill Works Limited (400 delegates), Sunup Logistics Limited (200) delegates, Krisdera Agro Allied FArms, (200 delegates), Teecentenel Nigeria Limited (110), Betrieb Limited (50,) and Vika Farms Limited.

Some delegates under Krisdera Agro Allied Farms and Teecentennel Nigeria Limited that were interviewed by journalists are pointing an accusing finger in the direction of the Head of Reintegration.

After renegotiating with the contractors, the office deducted a substantial amount from the contract sum. They went to the various training Centres to offer each delegate 750k to completely delist them from the Amnesty Programme.

The delegates collectively rejected the said amount. The office promised to get back to them all to no avail. The amount deducted from the negotiations with the contractors is N1.9Bn

They claim he was responsible for the mastery around delay or disappearance of their Two Months In-Training Allowance which had earlier been paid by the Office to the contractor for onward disbursement to the delegates.

Our investigation revealed that Mr. Wilfred Musa who is the HoR instructed the contractors to withhold the money since the delegates did not complete the eight months they were initially required to spend.

That money has not been returned to the government coffers.

Last month, the Head of the Amnesty Office directed the security unit to seize the phones of Amnesty staff for investigation because of the purported “leakage of information” and his clash with Chief Timipre Sylva.

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