EFCC Arrests 4 On OBJ’s $16bn Power Project

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday detained

two top officials of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the company

which supervised execution of the $16 billion failed power projects.

The officials are Head of Finance Marvel Emefiele and Head of Compensation

Eze M. C. Odigbo.

They are expected to account for the N850 million earmarked as compensation to

communities where components of the power project were sited

Others in EFCC’s net are Managing Director of Pivot Engineering Mr. Richard Ayibiowu

and the Managing Director of Chris Ejik Nigeria Limited Mr.  Christain Ejik Imoka.

Detectives are on the trail 18 more suspects including two former governors, a former

chairman of a bank and a former chairman of an airline.

About 15 more companies are also on the EFCC radar, it was learnt last night.

There are fears that some of the suspects might have secretly relocated abroad.

President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly wondered how $16 billion was spent

on power and there is no electricity generated.  He subsequently ordered a probe

into the expenditure.

A source in the anti-graft commission said: “The NPDHC officials are being detained

by the EFCC, following their alleged involvement in bogus payment and diversion of

about N850million compensation to communities where the components of the power

projects were sited.

“Investigation revealed that approval was granted for the payment of N84billion to the

communities where transmission lines of the power project are meant to be laid.

“Investigators discovered that there were serious issues arising from the payment of the

compensation to the communities.

“Though about N50billion compensation was said to have been paid to the communities,

the contractors were said to have been prevented from working by the communities over

non- payment of the same compensation which the NPDHC records claimed had been paid.

“Emefiele was said to have approved the payment of N850million as NPDHC Head of Finance

while Odigbo, Head of Compensation reportedly effected the compensation to the communities.

The two officials are being quizzed over the propriety of the matter.

“The Managing Director of Pivot Engineering, Mr. Richard Ayibiowu, is being detained over

alleged payment of N350million to the communities.  Part of  LOT 8 of the power project,

Ihiala /Orlu Transmission Line, was not executed by Pivot Engineering due to the alleged claim

of hostility by the communities while about N350million was on record as paid to the same

communities. Mr. Oba Otudeko is the chairman of Pivot Engineering.”

“The Managing Director of Chris Ejik Nigeria Limited, Mr. Christain Ejik Imoka, is being

detained over controversial payment of N500million contract LOT 14, which ought to

include Lekki-Ajah Transmission Line, which was not executed. But money was paid to that effect.

“The detained officials allegedly failed to honour previous invitations from the commission.”

The source said: “We have invited about 15 companies implicated in the mismanagement of

funds meant for the power projects. One of the firms got four contracts but was only able to

put in place 30 per cent of the construction. The firm also claimed that it imported certain

materials since 2013 and lying in Onne Port without clearing.”

Read the rest of this story on THE NATION

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