The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence investigation into the alleged diversion of N1.5bn by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration.
In a petition issued to journalists and signed by the group’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC stated, “In its publication on 14th February 2016, The Nation newspaper reported that the House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) queried the diversion of N1.5bn meant for the compensation and resettlement of indigenes affected by the Centenary Village project.
“According to the report, at the FCT budget defense before the Hon. Herman Hembe-led committee, the lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with the inability of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to justify the huge disbursement of funds to one of the contractors handling some projects for the FCT Administration.”
The petition continues, “The Committee was further infuriated by the failure of the FCTA to furnish it with documents earlier requested, including the Bill of Quantity for the residences of the Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the United Nations (UN) building. The Committee was concerned that level of work on the various projects does not reflect the amount of money already sunk into them.”
The CSNAC petition points to the Vice President’s residence as an example. According to the Committee’s findings, his residence was awarded N7.1bn in funding, of which N6.2bn was already paid. Similarly, the UN building was awarded N5.1bn in funding, but already had N3.9bn committed to it.
According to CSNAC, the report further stated that there had been several protests by the original occupants of Centenary Village over unpaid compensation. The Committee thus emphasized the need for an investigation due to complaints from contractors handling the projects. It further stated that progress was stunted as a result of resistance and protests from indigenes over compensation, in addition to poor funding by the government.
However, the director of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Adamu Abu, said the initial agreement between the FCDA and the indigenes was to integrate them and not to pay them compensation in monetary form.
The anti-graft network stated, “From the foregoing, there are indications that the N1.5bn disbursed by the federal government for the compensation of the indigenes has been diverted by corrupt officials. Going by the statement credited to the director, if the initial agreement between the administration and the indigenes was integration and not monetary compensation, then where is the N1.5bn earlier disbursed for that purpose?”
The petition concluded by calling on the EFCC to conduct a thorough investigation into this diversion of funds and to prosecute any officials found responsible.
“This will go a long way in ridding the society of corrupt individuals and rebuilding the Nigeria we all want to see and bequeath to future generations.”