The Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives representing the Isoko Federal constituency, Mr. Leo Ogor Okuweh, the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC), S.O. Olotu and Sons Nigeria Limited and others have been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The ‘dragging before the commission’ is in connection to the lingering and alleged fraudulent N2.4 billion Ozoro Road contract of 28.4 kilometers. In an earlier story SaharaReporters published, the road was supposedly fraudulently cut almost in half, to 15.2 kilometers, by the local construction company, S.O. Olotu and Sons Nigeria Limited. This ‘cutting in half of the road’ is a scheme that many believe is part of an alleged connivance with the Deputy Majority Leader.
SaharaReporters obtained a petition that was signed by Onabe E. Ewoh ESQ, the Associate Counsel for Ejumejowo and Associate, Legal Practitioner and Notary Public in Abuja. The document urged the commission to investigate the controversial contract and all contracts in the Isoko federal constituency awarded by the commission from the time of its inception, with a view to bringing to justice those found guilty of carrying out questionable, if not illegal and wanton acts.
This petition did not go unnoticed. It was addressed to the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and was titled, “Suspected Diversion Of Contract Sum Of N2,400,000,000.00 By The Board Of Niger Delta Development Commission And S.O.Olotu and Sons Limited.”
According to the petition dated the 1st of July, 2014, “We act as lawyers for Ejumejowo Anthony who is an indigene of (the) Isoko Federal constituency. That sometime in 2013, the Board Of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded the contract for construction of the Ozoro Township roads, totaling 28.3km, to one S.O.Olotu and Sons Nigeria Limited, for the sum of N2,400,000,000.00 (Two billion four hundred million naira) only.
“That sometime in January, 2014, in a meeting at the palace of the king of the Ozoro Community, the management of the said S.O.Olotu and Sons Nigeria Limited, while soliciting for the co-operation of the community, informed the community leaders that their company had unilaterally decided to reduce the road from the 28.3km awarded to the company to 15.4km. The changes came with the excuse that the bill of quantity and designs used in the award of the said contract, made no provisions for ‘stone base,’ and drainage for the roads, and that the reduction was necessary to ‘accommodate the stone base and drainages.’
“That the attendance of the said meeting included, Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, and Hon Leo Ogor, the current Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and at that said meeting, Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo faulted the unilateral decision of the company without due process. Hon. Leo Ogor supported the reduction of the roads without due process, a contract job he claims to have influenced Ozoro with his position as the deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives,” the petitioner stated. Continuing, the petition stated that, ‘all letters written to the Managing Director of the Commission to verify the true position of the contract were rebuffed, rather his first letter was leaked to the contractor, in which he had been receiving all sorts of acts of intimidation and threats.
“That the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission has refused to release information to our office, or our client, in clear violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
“That Hon Leo Ogor, in his rather curious response to our client in a phone conversation on the same day, a letter was sent to him, (he) told our client that he will not do anything about our client’s complaint. He also informed our client that our client ‘can write for all he cares to’ the speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate President, or the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the petition added.
Meanwhile, it was learned that the petitioner had last week honored the invitation of the EFCC, and his statement, was taken as EFCC has since swung into action and all the actors are scheduled to appear before the commission. Ejumejowo Anthony Asuotu ESQ had rejected a bribe, one allegedly offered to him by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to keep a ‘sealed lip’ on the matter.