Managing Director of Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority, Abubakar Mu’azu, has continued to award contracts, three weeks after his tenure elapsed on June 6, 2020, a whistleblower has said.
The Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority is a federal agency in Adamawa State.
On June 26, 2020, SaharaReporters had reported that tension was mounting in the federal parastatal, following the refusal of Mu’azu, to vacate office three weeks after the expiration of his tenure.
A whistleblower within the agency, Bashiru Ahmed, had revealed that Mu’azu had from June 7, 2020, a day after the vacuum was created in his office, allegedly awarded several contracts and approved payments, running into hundreds of millions of naira.
It was further alleged that even before the end of his tenure, the former MD had awarded over N2 billion contracts, laced with irregularities and fraud.
The whistleblower had revealed that those contracts were awarded and payments effected without any recourse to the tenders board. He always bypassed the management board in taking decisions, the whistleblower claimed.
In a petition addressed to the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, 39 point corruption allegations were raised against him.
The petition, seen by SaharaReporters, reads in parts: “Fraudulent awards of contracts without advertisement as required by the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
“Numan Irrigation Project: The Authority does not have this project, it is nonexistent, yet, on yearly basis, provision was fraudulently made and monies siphoned by the MD and his cronies, to the tune of over N200 million.
“Ledde-Zenge dam: This is a practical show of shame with no engineering design, standard bills and genuine contractor, engineer, supervisor. This is the mother of all impunity. The alleged structure is not close to being a dam, and yet N250 million was spent with no known contractor, supervisor, and so on.
“Dukku erosion control: The assumed financier and contractor of this project are unknown and yet the colossal sum of money in the excess of N200 million has so far been spent with sustainable provisions being made under the same project name.
“Under the name of dredging and maintenance of the unlined area of the canal, about N500 million has been spent within four years with continuous spending and yet, no lasting solution other than the continuation of resource wastage.”
To sustain his alleged illegalities, Muazu was said to have appointed a seconded Grade Level 10 officer with no knowledge of procurement to serve as the Head of the Authority’s Procurement Unit.
Muazu, it was further gathered, sidelined a chartered Grade Level 17 staff, and made a Grade Level 14 Officer to be the Head of Finance and Accounts of the Authority.
Ahmed had further alleged that Mu’azu was being shielded by the Minister of Water Resources, Adamu Suleiman.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to do the needful and force Mu’azu out just as he urged ICPC and other anti-graft agencies to investigate the issues raised.