SaharaReporters, New York
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The chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Timi Alaibe, is to face the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja for his failure to declare his assets between September and October 2006. That is the 30-day period allowable for federal civil servants to declare their assets.
A charge sheet obtained by SaharaReporters and signed by prosecutor O.T Olatigbe alleges that Mr. Alaibe received the Code of Conduct Bureau CCB 1 from the bureau but failed to declare his assets as required by law. He therefore contravened section 15 (1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. Cap 56 LFN 1990 as amended and punishable under section 23 (2) of the said act. The summons was dated October 20th 2008.
Mr. Alaibe will appear before a three-member panel made up of Justice C.A.R Momoh, (Chairman), Professor P.A.O Oluyede and Alhaji Murtala Adebayo Sanni. The case has been adjourned till January 28 2009.
Analysts say it is not the only instance in recent memory in which public officials were prosecuted for failing to declare their assets but the Code of Conduct tribunal has never successfully prosecuted any public official for failure to declare his or her assets in the past.
Timi Alaibe Day of Reckoning, as EFCC treats series of Petitions.
Last View on Mon 1st December, 2008
Last Modified on Wed 16th July, 2008 5:58:57 pm
Author: Posted by Admin Sahara
Saharareporters, New York
The managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ndutimi Alaibe will soon be answering questions from anti-corruption agents if feelers from a team of investigators at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are anything to go by. Saharareporters gather that the agency is looking into massive allegations of corruption and abuse of office in the commission he directs.
Alaibe’s case is also causing ripples among the recently appointed board members of the EFCC, pitching the chairperson, Farida Waziri, against the commission's secretary, Emmanuel Akomaye. Sources at the EFCC told Saharareporters that the chairperson of EFCC has accused him of shielding Alaibe from investigation. Both Alaibe and Akomaye were reportedly colleagues at some point.
Alaibe's history as banker is as controversial as the history of failed banks in Nigeria. Every bank where Alaibe was employed has failed. His banking career, which started at the African Continental Bank (ACB) – now defunct - snarled through another defunct bank, Savannah Bank ; it also included a Port Harcourt-based finance house, reportedly co-owned by Alaibe. His career finally ended at the failed Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) where he became a general manager before he joined the NDDC as the executive director in charge of finance. The Saraki family, owns SGBN, it not clear if governor Saraki has weighed in on behalf of Alaibe in the ongoing investigations,
A Niger Delta activist, who asked not to be named, described Alaibe as, “Obasanjo's fixer in the Niger Delta region and the bribe-master-general of the Nigerian state”. Also a Port Harcourt-based lawyer told Saharareporters anonymously that Alaibe remains the most powerful “Father Christmas who plays that role year round”. Further stating that, “Mr. Kenny Martins (currently under trial for squandering Police Equipment Fund, Mr. Martins denies the charges) would not qualify to be Alaibe’s assistant in the business of squandering the NDDC resources”
Some of the petitions against Alaibe seen by Saharareporters allege that he used the NDDC resources as a slush fund for former president Obasanjo and approved all sorts of contracts to politically exposed persons including Obasanjo’s family members, cronies and political supporters. A case in point involves a certain House of Representative member, Olaka Wogu, who got an unspecified sum of money from the NDDC as a contractor to build Landmark Hotel in Port Harcourt. The hotel is booked year round by the NDDC at the cost of N20, 000 per night, it is alleged that Alaibe houses his political supporters and cultist elements in the hotel for prolonged periods of time. Honorable Wogu was a strong supporter of the tenure elongation (3rd-Term) project for Obasanjo.
The petitioners further stated that some of the persons who got contracts at the NDDC either didn’t execute the contracts or simply got contracts that were inflated and had nothing to do with the mandate of the NDDC, at the behest of the former president and his senior special assistant on domestic affairs, Emmanuel Nnamdi ‘Andy’ Uba.
The petitioners also alleged that the recent alarm over plots to assassinate Alaibe and the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio was sponsored by the duo to deflect public attention from the massive corruption perpetrated by them. Mr. Akpabio is the first state governor to be openly accused of corruption by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). One of petitioners stated that the alarm raised by Akpabio was targeted at the chairman of the NDDC board, Ambassador Sam Edem.
Alaibe is also said to be the financier of the recent campaigns to force the Yar’adua government to pay up on the N200 billion owed the NDDC.
Other allegations against him include denominating contracts in US dollars and making foreign exchange payments (contrary to the Foreign Exchange Act which designates the Central Bank of Nigeria as the only authority empowered to do so) and single-handedly engaging in variation of contracts without recourse to the NDDC board. One such contract was awarded to a certain Pelfaco Limited to construct shore protection projects in Okerekoko community in Warri South West local government area of Delta State. A petitioner alleges that though the contracted was awarded for N317 million, Mr. Alaibe jerked it up to N980 million
Also cited was another contract involving shore protection of Ogborode in Warri South West local government area which was awarded to Tontine Technicals for the sum of N317 million but was later varied to N1.2 billion, a difference of over five hundred million naira.
The petitioners also include a road contract awarded to a company; Octopus Clan Nig Limited for the sum of N200 million which was later reviewed upward to N220 million.
Another contract to rehabilitate the Buguma-Ido Abalama-Degema-Abonnema road and bridge in Rivers State which was awarded to Hadocks Limited for the sum of N480 million was also varied to N800 million when the final payment vouchers were signed. Alaibe was accused of making over N350 million naira profits from that single deal.
The petitioners further allege that Mr. Alaibe inappropriately opened bank accounts on behalf of the commission without regards to rules governing such transactions, in particular, the NDDC accounting manuals, and also without recourse to the NDDC board. He was also accused of using Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) as a conduit for siphoning billion of dollars through cronies and fronts.
Mr. Alaibe is currently visiting London to find a possibility of meeting Yar’adua to discuss ways of resolving the corruption charges swirling around him. It will be the second time in two weeks that Alaibe will be visiting London where he maintains a hotel suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Mayfair area of Central London. A night in the suites 501 and 502 of the hotel costs the NDDC £3,000 according to hoteliers knowledgeable about Four Seasons pricing. A call to the Four Seasons shows that Mr. Alaibe may have left instructions to shield his use of the hotel, as hotel receptionists gave conflicting information about his stay in the hotel. Mr. Alaibe owns a multimillion-dollar home in Maidevale, London, but doesn’t stay there when he visits the UK.
Last week Sunday, Mr. Alaibe was on the same return flight to Nigeria as the EFCC chairperson, Mrs. Farida Waziri.
Saharareporters has also learnt that the secretary to the Federal government, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe is on Alaibe’s payroll and may have been helping him to douse the pressure mounted to have the NDDC accounts reviewed by the Federal government.