Following the recent development in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where Sen. Ahmed Lawan was elevated to the position of Senate Leader by the APC Caucus in the National Assembly, we wish to bring to the knowledge of the general public the privileged information we stumbled upon during our most recent citizens fact finding expedition.
Nigerians can vividly recall that Citizens Actions to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN) visited Yobe State late in December 2016 on a fact finding expedition with regards to the interim report by the Senate adhoc committee regards the activities of the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE). During this exercise and while on our way to inspect project sites in some parts of Nguru Water Channels known as ‘Marma Channels’, we came across a giant Sign Post with inscription:
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
CLIENT: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES, OLD FED. SECRETARIAT, AREA 1, P.M.B 159, GARKI. ABUJA.
PROJECT: CONSTRUCTION OF MARAWAJI FLOW CONTROL STRUCTURES AND YOBE STATES.
CONTRACTOR: DOLIZ BROW NIG. LTD. 41 NELSON MANDELE STREET, ASOKORO, ABUJA.
This sign post was old & rusty, an indication on the number of years it was erected. Our team picked interest on the inscription and decided to stop for enquiries.
Members of that community informed us that the sign post was fixed in the year 2010 by a Contractor known as DOLIZ BROWN in company of Sen. Ahmed Lawan’s aides, but that ever since then the project had been abandoned.
Going through past Budgets from 2010 and some official documents in Government archives, we came across information that clearly pointed out that the contract titled, “CONSTRUCTION OF MARAWAJI FLOW CONTROL STRUCTURES” was awarded to DOLBIZ BROWN IN NOVEMBER 2010 FOR AN EXECUTION DURATION OF 36 MONTHS, AND AT A CONTRACT VALUE OF N229,714,513.00.
It was clearly stated in the Budget that the objective of the contract was to “Control and diversion of flood to reclaim lands for agricultural use”. We believe that this project is extremely important for the welfare of that region and thus could not have been abandoned. This necessitated our decision to dig deeper to unravel the facts behind the project.
From our preliminary reports, the most disturbing aspect is that the Senator used his influence to ensure that the entire contract sum for the execution of the project was domiciled in the account of Federal Ministry of Water Resources then (a clear offence in itself), which we now believe must have been paid to the contractor. Further findings & submissions have revealed that the contractor only went to the site to erect the sign post, and subsequently made attempt to clear the access road to the project location. For doing just that, he first made a claim of 15% of the contract sum and later connived with the Senator to get paid on the job that was never executed.
In view of the above, CATBAN is hereby making the following demands:
1. Sen. Ahmed Lawan must make public his explanations on why a Constituency Project under the Yobe North Senatorial Zone was abandoned for 7 years,
2. Between the Doliz Brow Nigeria Limited, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Senator Ahmed Lawan, Nigerians want to know how the money that was budgeted for that project was collected & shared, and how they came to the conclusion of abandoning the project,
3. Why is it that even after this project was abandoned, the same project had continued to appear as a Constituency Project in our Annual National Budget up until 2016 as “Ongoing”?
All of the above demands are expected to be responded to by Senator Ahmed Lawan within the next 7 days else, we will petition the relevant authorities with demand for his resignation as Senate Leader & subsequent arrest, and also petition INEC while mobilizing his constituency for his recall from the National Assembly.