Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has recovered hospital equipment and generators from Mma Obot Foundation allegedly set up by a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Godswill Akpabio.
The commission said these were among recoveries from the tracking of constituency projects, according to a statement by its spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Thursday.
They include a dialysis machine, ECG monitor, oxygen regulator, Anaesthetic machines, generators and other hospital equipment meant for a cottage hospital in Ukana, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, from premises of Mma Obot Foundation, alleged to belong to Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The statement reads: “The on-going tracking of constituency projects by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and its partners through the Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG) initiative has yielded yet another significant result with the recovery of six tractors meant for the use of farmers in six local government areas of Bauchi Central Senatorial District.
The tractors formed part of a N430 million contract for the supply of pumping machines and other agricultural machinery to farmers in the senatorial district, which was awarded in 2015 by the Federal Government as part of Senators’ constituency projects across the nation.
The CPTG team for Bauchi discovered that N76.6 million was paid for the tractors in December 2015 and supplied in March 2016. They were supposed to have been distributed for the use of farmers in each of the six local government areas in the Senatorial District that included Misau, Dambam, Ningi, Warji, Darazo and Ganjuwa. It was found out that the tractors had obviously not been distributed as required in the terms of the contract.
In the effort to trace the tractors, Isa Hamman Misau, the then Senator under whose auspices the project was included in the budget to be executed by the MDG office, met with officials of ICPC in Bauchi and in a written statement claimed that the tractors were kept in Yuli village.
However, the CPTG team did not find any of the tractors there and some of the intended beneficiaries who were interviewed claimed not to have ever seen the tractors in the village as claimed by the Senator.
The Senator who was later contacted on telephone by the CPTG team, to ascertain the actual location of the tractors, could not offer any positive explanation during the conversation.
The CPTG team however gathered through intelligence that the tractors were being hurriedly moved to Ganjuwa local government headquarters and it then proceeded to the place to take custody of them.
The tractors which are already showing signs of dilapidation as a result of usage, with some leaking oil, have been seized by the Commission and handed over to the Chairman, Ganjuwa Local Government for safe keep pending further directives.
The CPTG assessment and review of constituency projects across Nigeria by the Commission and its partners; Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Bureau of Public Procurement, Budget Office of the Federation, Premium Times, BudgIT and Udeme.ng is aimed at ensuring satisfactory execution of all Constituency Projects across the country. It has so far led to multiple recoveries of items, hospital equipment, vehicles and funds. It has also forced many contractors who hitherto had abandoned projects to return to site to complete them.
Among the recoveries so far made by the CPTG team are dialysis machine, ECG monitor, oxygen regulator, Anaesthetic machines, generators and other hospital equipment meant for a cottage hospital in Ukana, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, from premises of Mma Obot Foundation, alleged to belong to Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
When contacted, Akpabio’s spokesman, Mr. Anietie Ekong, told our correspondent that the former governor had no comments on the matter.