By Ebuka Oko
Cadrell Advocacy Centre, CAC, a non-governmental advocacy group has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of bias in the handling of the controversial N13.7 billion Warri Channel Dredging contract awarded by the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, to Dredging International Services Nigeria Limited, DISNL.
The group in a statement, expressed surprise that the anti-corruption agency absolved the parties involved but pointed out that the same body that had invited them to their office countless times for statements and interrogation; did not oblige them a copy of the report before sending it to press.
Recall that the group had earlier petitioned EFCC to probe NPA concerning the bid which resulted in investigations by the House of Representatives and Bureau of Public Procurement.
The Group, in a statement by its Executive Director, Evans Ufeli, stated that there was an exclusion of fourteen bidders on the basis of none availability of Tax documents, deposed affidavit, among other requirements (as contained in their letter to the Ministerial Tender Board and also repeated in the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport’s, letter to the Bureau of Public Procurement dated 6th February, 2018 on pages 3 & 4 of the said letter.)
The group further stated that EFCC and NPA should apply the rules across board and not hold on to legal technicalities to continually award huge contracts of such nature to the company.
According to CAC, contrary to EFCC’s report, its study of the incorporation documents of DISNL it obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission reveals that, DISNL is partly owned by Dredging and Environmental Services Nigeria Limited with 49,500,000 shares and Dredging International NV with 500,000 shareholding.
The Group noted that the EFCC report went further to state that the companies indicted were Dredging International Services Cyprus (DISC) and Dredging International NV.”