From Umar Dankano,Yola
A group under the aegis ‘Adamawa Concern citizens’ have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to investigate the Acting chairman of the Adamawa state Universal Basic Education Board, Hajiya Fadimatu Alfa over alleged fraudulent award and execution of contract to her own company.
In their petition addressed to the chairman of the commission (EFCC) dated 14th December,2019 and captioned “Petition on the Adamawa state Universal Basic Education Board Acting Chairman, Mrs Fadimatu Alfa in a N16Million Corruption scandal”, the petitioners accused her of wrongly awarding a contract of N16,138,500 to her personal company, F.A Catering Services Enterprises Ltd.
The petitioners alleged that Mrs Alfa being the executive chairman of the board illegally used her position as the head to influenced the contract to her personal company managed by her biological son, Sadam Idris contradicting the procurement law and due process.
They added that the N16,138,500 was part of the Federal government Universal Basic Education counter-part Fund ( Marching grant) for Teachers professional development.
“The Acting chairperson of Adamawa state Universal Board, Yola, Mrs Fadimatu Alfa has been found to have wrongly awarded N16,138,500 contract to herself through her company, F.A Catering Services Enterprises managed by her son, Saddam Idris.
“Documents obtained from ADSUBEB revealed that Mrs. Alfa used her position as chairperson to enrich herself by awarding the contract to her own company, F.A. Catering Services Enterprises in contradiction of procedural or due process.
“The document categorically revealed that, the N16,138,500.00k was part of the Federal government counterpart fund/marching grant for Teachers Professional Development, “ the petitioners alleged.
According to the petition addressed to the Executive Chairman of EFCC which was received, stamped and signed by an official at the reception unit of the commission’s office at Jabi, Abuja dated 18th Febuary,2020 accused Mrs. Alfa of gross abuse of office demanding for thorough investigation and necessary action.
Investigation carried out by this reporter stumbled on a letter of award of same contract written on the official letter headed paper of the ADSUBEB with reference number; UBEB/QA/279/VOL.1 dated 5th December,2019. addressed to the F.A Catering Services Enterprise.
It was captioned in the letter as follows “Notification of award of contract for feeding of Teachers Professional Development Workshop “ and was duly communicated by Mrs Alfa as the Acting Chairman of the ADSUBEB to her personal company(F.A Catering Services Enterprise Yola).
“This is to notify you that,ADSUBEB has approved the award of contract for feeding of participants in 21 Local government Areas at the cost of N16,138,500.00k only as contained in the contract agreement “.The letter stressed.
When contacted on this allegation,Mrs Fadimatu Alfa initially declined comments on the matter but later admitted that the company in question belongs to her family and being run by her biological son, Saddam Idris.
Mrs Alfa said the board as part of its responsibility of improving capacity of its staffers,organized a cluster training for teachers in the state and sort for catering firms to cook for participants in which three companies namely ; Nyamu Nbedin catering service, Gamji Delight and F.A Catering services enterprise bided for the contract.
Alfa stated that her company gave the lowest quotation among the rest, a reason that made the firm to won the biding process and secured the contract which she claimed was executed according to specification or contractual agreement
“I did not participate in the process and had no prior knowledge that my family’s company quotation was the lowest among other competitors until after the bidding process took place and it eventually emerged victorious.
“It was only N16,000,000 that was paid in to the company’s account for the engagement and the other two competitors were considered by the company where one was given five councils to handle while the other was given two local government areas as parties in the business for fairness at least.”She explained
According to her the program was a 10 weeks clusters training for teachers in 21 local government areas with 53 teachers,3 facilitators from F.C.E Yola and 1 supporting staff from ADSUBEB which started second week of December 2019 and ended in Febuary 2020.
Attempts to speak to the procurement officer of the ADSUBEB on the procedures adopted in awarding the questionable contract was not fruitful as the officer declined maintaining that until she get clearance from her Acting chairman.
The Adamawa state public procurement law stated in S.58 (1) Any person being a public officer who contravenes any provision of this law commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 calendar years but not exceeding 10 calendar years without an option of fine .