Thursday , 25 July 2024

N20b UBEC ‘fraud’: EFCC seizes 5 houses from contractor

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized five houses from a contractor Prof. Adenekan Iyiola Adesanya for allegedly diverting about N8billion out of over N20billion spent by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for the supply of textbooks, science and technical equipment to schools.

The N8billion was meant for the purchase of science, technical and laboratory equipment to 104 Unity Schools.

The suspect, who is also the Managing Director of Macmillan, was alleged to have paid out N5billion to some individuals and used part of the balance to buy some properties.

The sealed properties include a duplex at 3A Prince Adesanya, Parkview Estate in Ikoyi; another duplex at Plot 10, Segun Olusemo Crescent, Parkview Ikoyi;  and three others in Block B 1-6 Erinko Residential and Industrial Estate, Ijoko in Ogun State housing five firms.

Also, eight firms linked with Adenekan are under probe with their accounts frozen in line with the ongoing investigation.

The eight companies traced to the suspect are Aristocrat Specialities Limited; Bromley Technology Limited;  Bromley Laboratory Equipment Limited; Calendar Investment Limited; Adeyinka Ventures Limited; Taisol Global Limited; L’enfant Enterprises Limited and Melrose Publishing Company Limited.

A top source said : “The EFCC received a petition bordering on alleged reckless award of contracts in UBEC to launder public funds , diversion of contract sums, non-execution of contracts and misappropriation of funds. The petitioner alleged that about N100billion was involved but our detectives have so far traced about N20billion of the funds disbursed.

“We have confirmed that about N8billion worth of contracts(out of the preliminary N20billion being looked into) for the supply of science and technical equipment to 104 Unity Schools(mainly Federal Government Colleges) were not properly executed.

“Most of the contracts awarded to at least seven of these eight companies did not go through the bidding process. There was no evidence of due process.

“In the course of our investigation, we invited the principals of the 104 schools and their store officers to give account of the total quantity of the items supplied. Some schools received about 30% of their equipment, some got 40% and some 50%.

“About three to four schools in the North-East, particularly those sited in Boko Haram insurgency axis, did not receive any science and technical equipment.

“When we discovered that these equipment were not supplied, EFCC investigators decided to track the money paid by UBEC.  The detectives discovered that about N5billion was paid out to some individuals with a strong suspicion that it might have been diverted and used for 2015 general election.

“The suspect allegedly used substantial part of over N3billion  balance to buy and build these properties. We have sealed off the affected buildings. Also, the accounts of the eight firms have been frozen.”

The source added: “When we interrogated the contractor, he simply said he was paid for “services rendered.” He also said he sublet the contracts but he was not able to prove to our team the beneficiaries.”

The anti-graft commission had already quizzed  a former Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Mallam Suleiman Dikko and seized his passport.

Also grilled were top directors of UBEC including those in charge of Finance and Procurement.

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