- EFCC has reportedly started investigations on $16bn allegedly spent on power under ex-president Obasanjo
- The anti-graft agency said the probe is not aimed at witch-hunting the ex-president but to set the record straight
- Obasanjo had earlier said he is ready for probing
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly started investigating the alleged $16 billion spent on power during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Recall that on Tuesday, May 22, President Muhammadu Buhari had queried the expenditure on power during the Obasanjo administration.
The ex-president had subsequently replied by expressing his readiness for a probe.
Following the ex-president’s response, The Nation reports that an EFCC team is already gathering facts that it would use to investigate the case.
NAIJ.com gathered from the report that the anti-graft agency may invite two ex-ministers, former top officials of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), present and past officials of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and all the people recommended for investigation by a committee of the House of Representatives.
“We are looking into all the allegations and issues surrounding the power projects. We will conduct a comprehensive and forensic probe to ascertain the true status of all the projects,” The Nation quoted an anonymous source as saying.
“This investigation will actually ascertain how much has been spent so far. We have many figures being bandied about as follows: $16 billion, $13.278 billion, $10.3 billion, $8.4 billion and $8.55 billion.
“This is not an investigation aimed at ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo or anybody. We have to step in to set the records straight.
“Already, a team is collating facts and figures on these projects as part of the preliminary level/ bend of the investigation. We will retrieve the report of the House of Representatives Committee which investigated the power projects.
“The House actually recommended 18 top former public officers, including two ex-ministers, for investigation by anti-graft agencies, especially EFCC and ICPC. Many salient issues were raised for investigation by the house committee, which was headed by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.”
In 2008, the Elumelu committee said about $13 billion was spent on power between 1999 and 2007.
The committee recommended termination of 13 contracts and review of 10 projects.
About 15 contracting and consulting companies were asked to be investigated by the appropriate agencies.
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NAIJ.com previously reported that Obasanjo replied President Muhammadu Buhari over the allegation that $16 billion was wasted on power project during his administration.
President Buhari had made reference to the allegation while receiving a delegation of Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) at the presidential villa on Tuesday, May 22.
In a statement issued on his behalf by Kehinde Akinyemi, his spokesman, Obasanjo dismissed Buhari's claim and offered his own side of the story.
Consider rest - Obasanjo to Buhari - on NAIJ.com TV: