A copy of the report submitted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC concerning the ongoing vehicle contract scandal in the Benue State House of Assembly has indicted the Deputy Speaker, Hon James Ejembi Okefe.Recall that EFCC welded into the crisis at the House following a petition concerning a N750 million contract handled by a company owned by the Deputy Speaker, Mia 3 Nigeria Limited.
It was gathered that the initial bid for the contract for purchase of latest version of Prado Jeep was N13 million each. However, due to the fluctuation of the rate of the dollar, the unit cost of the vehicles shot up over N15 million. That efforts to have the contract reviewed higher met a brickwall from the executives. Meanwhile, some of the vehicles had already been supplied and collected by some lawmakers.
It was in the wake of this melee, that members of the House suggested that each member of the House who had not recieved a Prado Jeep should be given the money budgeted and passed for each vehicle which was N13 Million.
However, instead of doing as agreed by the lawmakers, it was gathered that the Deputy Speaker gave only N8 million to the affected members, pocketing the balance of N5 million each.
The members felt rightly shortchanged as all attempts to get the remaining N5 million outstanding for these members from the Deputy Speaker failed.
The report of the anti-graft agency stated that no money was embezzled, since the money was actually duly budgeted for, however it said the contractor who is the Deputy Speaker of the House is sole responsible for the misapplication of the N5 million he deducted from each member’s allocation for purchase of each Prado Jeep.
It was therefore instructed that those who collected N8 million but failed to buy the Jeeps must return the money to the state treasury and tender a receipt thereof. Also, that the Deputy Speaker must also refund to the treasury the differentials of N5 million each meant for the members who could not get the Prado Jeep supplied in the first instance.
Meanwhile, members of the House are poised to replace the erring Deputy Speaker with member representing Adoka/Ugboju state constituency, Hon. Adams Okloho.
Benue Assembly Fraud: EFCC submits copy of report to Governor Ortom, indicts Deputy Speaker
Reviewed by Link Naija