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Disquiet over arrest, release of Kwara transformer contractor

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There is disquiet within the Kwara State ministries of Justice and Energy over the arrest and release of the contractor of Best Energy International Services Ltd, Abdulrasaq Abass, who was awarded a multi-million naira contract by the state authorities for the provision of 35 transformers.

The runaway contractor was picked up in Abuja by operatives of the Kwara State Police Command and dropped at Ilorin on the directive of the state Ministry of Justice.

Sources within the Ministry of Justice mentioned, “sometime in July, 2022, Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq directed the ministry to prosecute the contractor.”

On the energy of the governor’s directive, the Ministry of Justice swung into motion and wrote a letter to the state Police Commissioner, directing him to impact the contractor’s arrest.

“The police demanded provision of logistics, which was honoured by the Ministry.”

Our correspondent gathered that the police left for Abuja on a Thursday, and by Sunday evening, the contractor was arrested and dropped at Ilorin.

However, in a sudden twist of growth, the Ministry of Justice was making ready to cost the contractor to court docket on the next Monday, when out of the blue “another order from above got to us in the Ministry that we should allow him to go and not prosecute him again.”

The Ministry then directed the Commissioner of Police to permit him to enter an enterprise to provide the 35 transformers as contained within the contract settlement by the top of July; therefore, he was launched on that promise.

DAILY POST learnt that at the start of September 2022, the follow-up by the Ministry with the Police Commissioner on the fulfilment of the enterprise signed by the contractor indicated that he was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE, for the procurement of the transformers.

Sources within the Ministry mentioned the contractor, nonetheless, complained that the worth had doubled the unique quantity quoted.

The Ministry then advised, “the contractor to proceed with the procurement assuring him that he would be reimbursed for the excess increase in the original contract sum.”

In one other dramatic flip of occasions, on the finish of September, “Abass, the contractor, wrote a letter, personally signed by him to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the Ministry of Justice saying he could no longer supply the transformers and he should be allowed to pay back the mobilisation fee instalmentally.”

The contractor’s matter additionally led to the redeployment of a senior officer within the Ministry of Justice to a different company beneath the ministry.

According to the contract settlement dated 2nd June 2021 and signed by the Ministry of Energy, the contractor was anticipated to ship the transformers inside three weeks from the date the settlement was signed.

The procurement regulation stipulates {that a} financial institution assure is required from a contractor after the brink of a contract is reached.

Before the aforementioned threshold, a efficiency Insurance Bond can also be required earlier than a contractor might be awarded a contract of decrease worth than is required for a financial institution assure.

Findings indicated that two necessities, if adhered to, would have allowed the state authorities to recuperate the mobilisation charge from the contractor.

The state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had, in its response, referred to as on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and different anti-graft companies to analyze the controversial contract settlement for alleged breach of due course of.

DAILY POST recollects {that a} social justice and anti-graft group, Elites Network For Sustainable Development, EnetSuD, had petitioned and raised questions concerning the contract but to be executed greater than 16 months after the contractor had been mobilised with the sum of N138m, about 70 % of the whole worth of the contract to prosecute the contract for the provision of 35 items of Beltransfo transformers by way of direct procurement.

The contract was awarded by means of the state Ministry of Energy on May 24, 2021.

A complete sum of N197.5m was accredited for the contract by Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq in May 2021 for the procurement of the 35 transformers.

Disquiet over arrest, release of Kwara transformer contractor

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