By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru,
ABUJA—Despite the raging issue of Budget padding in the House of Representatives, indications emerged yesterday as to why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has started probe of the National Assembly accounts from 2003 till 2015.
Investigations conducted by Vanguard revealed that while the anti-graft agency may have deemed it wise to screen the nation’s legislature as a result of serious allegations coming from the former House Appropriation Committee chairman, Abdulmunin Jibrin, the agency has actually been under obligation to probe, following years of petitions by aggrieved contractors who alleged high profile corruption by top management officials, in connivance with some ranking lawmakers.
A reliable source privy to this development,said the National Assembly management was fond of using contractors to siphon money without actually paying for jobs done.
He said so far, 16 petitions had been submitted to the anti-graft body.
According to him, the institution, which is currently being probed by the EFCC, has incurred debts running into billions of naira, arising from insolvency for jobs done as well as payment for contracts not executed which eventually end up in the pockets of powerful bureaucrats.
He said: “Past clerks of the National Assembly have been found guilty of the same offence but because most of them had an understanding with some key people within the EFCC, petitions against them were never scheduled for investigation.
“But I’m sure that the new man at the EFCC is refusing to look the other way this time around, unlike his predecessors, especially now that a politician has petitioned them to probe principal officers of the House who allegedly padded the 2016 budget. This must be why the EFCC is saying enough is enough.”
He also alleged that most facility breakdown being experienced on a daily basis within the complex was due to the management’s inability to hire competent hands that would handle the maintenance of critical infrastructure.
The source added that the company which was used to install them were asked to leave, leaving the job for mediocre firms which didn’t know the technical layout of the infrastructure to come in.
“Now, many things have been compromised”, he said.
He said many phony companies had been given contract papers and certificates of execution for equipment never supplied, alleging further that most of the companies were usually coned into bidding for the jobs, only to be later sidelined when the money was released.