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Fashola dragged to EFCC over alleged diversion of $600m power fund

By News Express on 20/01/2019

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• Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
• Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resource Centre  (HEDA), which is a non-governmental and non-partisan human rights organization, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate an alleged diversion of $600million funds meant for the 3050MW Mambilla HydroPower Project raised against the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Taking a cue from a leaked report published on the 11th of January, 2019 by SaharaReporters, an online newspaper, titled “Fashola Wants to Divert $600m From The 3050MW Hydropower Project to His Pet Project by Leno Adesanya”, HEDA said the letter from Mr. Adesanya cannot be waved aside.

According to the petition signed by HEDA’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the Resource Centre said it believed that the allegation of diversion against the Minister is grave and should be treated with all sense of importance especially being a public office holder whom utmost integrity, accountability and responsibility is expected.

The petition to the anti-graft agency reads: “It was reported in the publication, vide the letter written by Mr. Leno Adesanya to Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola alleging that the Honourable Minister for Power, Works and Housing is covering realities about loan negotiations between China Exim Bank and the Federal government in connection to the 3050MW Mambilla hydropower project which dates back to 2017.

“The reported letter stated the Honourable Minister refused to put the Mambilla Project on the Bilateral Discussion Agenda to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari China in April, 2016 when he visited China. Mr. Leno Laitan claimed in the letter that he appealed to Governors Nasiru El Rufai and Alhaji Mohammed BadaruAbubakar and the Minister for Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe who went with His Excellency to China to make the Mambilla Project a priority.”

HEDA noted further that: “Mr. Leno Adesanya also alleged that on the 30th of June, 2015, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari personally instructed him to report any act of corruption that may want to delay the accomplishment of the Mambilla project.

“He also alleged that he wrote a letter on the 16thAugust, 2017 to His Excellency questioning the treacherous attempt of the Honourable Minister of Power,Works and Housing to get the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to approve a multi-billion Solar Power project without the necessary feasibility studies, EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report, budget approval by the National Assembly which in turn resulted in no Due Process Certificate.”

HEDA also stated that Mr. Adesanya also alleged that the Honourable Minister misled the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari in a memo dated 22ndof May, 2017 to remove Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited from the project.It was stated in the report that the 3050MW power project, when and if accomplished should power thousands of industries in the northern area of our country and generate at least 5 million direct and indirect jobs, hence boosting the economy of the nation on the whole.

“The position occupied by the Honourable Minister of Power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola being a public office is one that calls for utmost integrity, accountability and responsibility.

“Hence, based on the above conveyed report, we believe this allegation of diversion is grave and should be treated with all sense of importance and in turn, we hereby demand for an immediate and urgent investigationof the said diversion of $600 Million from funds planned for the 3050MW Mambilla Hydropower Project by the Honourable Minister, BabatundeRajiFashola (Mr.) which is alleged that he wants to divert to a multibillion-dollar Solar project that has not gone through the due process to be implemented.”

HEDA stressed: “We as an organization relentless on seeing transparency and accountability actualized, owing to this backdrop, we hereby appeal that you use your good office to ensure that this matter is properly, effectively and painstakingly investigated with a view to ensuring that due process is followed in the actualization of the said project.

“Names were mentioned and letters referenced to support some of the assertions made in the petition and are capable of assisting your commission in the thorough investigation of the allegations, beyond the banter between Mr. Adesanya and Mr. Fashola (SAN),” the petition said.

Source News Express

Posted 20/01/2019 7:18:45 PM





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