CSO demands anti-corruption agencies to probe failed contracts uncovered by WikkiTimes in Northeast

CSO demands anti-corruption agencies to probe failed contracts uncovered by WikkiTimes in Northeast
From Nasir Baban Yan Biyu, BAUCHI
A Bauchi Based Civil Society Organisation, Alheri Community Development and Support Initiative (Alheri-CDSI), has appealed to the anti-corruption agencies to commence a full investigation of findings uncovered by WikkiTimes on alleged multi-billion naira failed projects contracts in the region
Accordingly, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to further the probe of alleged mismanagement, misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds in the alleged projects by some MDAs, public officials and contractors in parts of the country.
The Programme Officer, Alheri-CDSI Sani Mu’azu Tama, disclosed this during a press conference on Wednesday in Bauchi.
He noted that “WikkiTimes had exposed how the Numan-Jalingo Road, neglected for decades despite gulping billions of naira, deprived Adamawa and Taraba investments and exposed motorists to fatalities and other similar failed projects across the country.
The online paper also uncovered how the federal government dashed the hopes of constituents in Dass, Bauchi State after failing to deliver roads in the area.
Another investigation, also exposed how N175 million water projects disappeared in Bauchi North as residents suffer from acute shortages among several investigative reports exposing deep-seated corruption in the system.
“The magnitude of the claims and findings of the online newspaper is too important to be let go by relevant authorities, notable government agencies and companies involved in the alleged failed or unexecuted projects which deny people of the benefitting communities comfort and good life that they deserved on their fatherland,” he stated.
“These bodies must expedite their actions to earn the trust and confidence of Nigerians. We will maintain a cursory look until the right thing is done.
Similarly, WikkiTimes published an investigation about six construction companies involved in the building of 20 units of one block- of 2-classrooms with furniture, toilets, and offices in selected locations across the three senatorial districts in Kano.
The companies include S.A.T Engineering Service LTD, M. Sulum Nigerian LTD, Emacs Engineering Consultant, Pyramid Investment, MGK Global Service LTD and Haitel Nig LTD.
However, S.A.T Engineering Service LTD, M. Sulum Nigerian LTD and their owner, Alhaji Surajo Marshal including one other company through their counsel, Habiba Abdullahi Umar Esq filed a criminal lawsuit before Magistrate Court 18, Justice AB Wali Complex, Gyadi-Gyadi, Kano State.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Auwal Yusuf Sulaiman will read the criminal charges to WikkiTimes and its reporter, Elijah Ajoki (who authored the report) on January 9, 2023.
Tama demanded a group of three construction companies S.A.T Engineering Service, Insulum Nigeria Ltd and Hotel Nigeria Ltd to clearly explain their roles in the reported failed Nomadic Education Commission’s school construction projects in three senatorial zones of Kano State.
Alheri-CDSI said the approach of the firms to resort to the use of a legal weapon to intimidate and frustrate WikkiTmes and its reporter after exposing the alleged mishandling of the projects by the companies was absurd and barbaric.
Tama said going to court will not exonerate the firms from the alleged scandal, rather, it only exposes them to suspicion and cover-ups to divert public attention from the real issues at stake.
“Alheri-CDSI wants to, in strongest terms ask S.A.T Engineering Service, Insulum Nigeria Ltd, and Haitel Nigeria Ltd, a group consortium that allegedly mishandled Nomadic Education Projects in State to explain their roles and exonerate themselves from the said projects with convincing pieces of evidence and facts,” he said.
Tama said any organisation that knows about the works of investigative journalists must have some skeletons in the cupboard by trying to keep away from public scrutiny.
He, however, called on press freedom groups within and outside Nigeria to come to the rescue of WikkiTimes, he said the excesses of powerful individuals and groups against the Nigerian press must be checkmated to safeguard the public interest and guarantee citizens’ freedom of expression.

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