From Tony Osauzo, Benin
A group, The Strategic Advocacy Outreach, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), demanding a formal investigation of two outfits with the names Amu Global Ventures, Rising Heights Limited, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over “a controversial and manifestly fraudulent contract involving the Aushan-Ilekpe-Imoga road and the Imoga community roads (Lot 5) in Akoko Edo Local Government Area, Edo State”.
The petition signed by the Convener of the group, John Mayaki, stated that verified data, including information available on the official website of the NDDC, prove that the Commission awarded a contract for the construction and repair of the roads under what it described as “emergency repairs of failed and unmotorable section”.
It disclosed that the contract was awarded to Amu Global Ventures on April 16, 2019 and March 21, 2021 respectively, according to information gathered on the official website of NDDC.
“Further, also on the website of the NDDC, this firm Amu Global Ventures submitted images of its purported execution of the contract, including various stages of repair and construction work, complete with construction site banners and other things to give the impression of contract fulfillment.
“It listed Rising Heights Limited, another firm, as its execution partner in the images filed and published by the NDDC to support the purported claim of execution.
This claim, however, is false, fraudulent, and can only be considered a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and cover a possible misappropriation of public funds. At no point since the contract was awarded did either of Amu Global Ventures or Rising Heights Limited carry out any repair or construction work on the aforementioned roads, as obligated in the contract directly awarded to Amu Global Ventures by the NDDC.
“Amu Global Ventures and Rising Heights Limited did not mobilize to any of the site, and never repaired nor upgrade the roads in question. The images supplied to the NDDC and subsequently published on its website were fabricated. The proof of this is that all the quoted roads remain in the same state before the contract was awarded: unmotorable, as described by the NDDC in its justification of the contract in the first place.
“We are alarmed and deeply concerned that Amu Global Ventures and Rising Heights Limited could offer such a brazen lie and misrepresentation to the NDDC and the general public. We are also outraged that both firms, after receiving payment drawn from the public purse, elected instead to digitally concoct lies and dabble in fraud, instead of meeting their obligations to the government agency and the general public.
“We are also concerned that the suspected fraud may be indicative of a wider institutional rot in which the awarding agency itself is complicit”, the petition alleged.
Besides, it disclosed that a cursory check into Amu Global Ventures with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) returned with no information, casting doubt on the true nature of the firm and raising questions on the NDDC’s internal contract bidding and awarding process, which ordinarily requires that all participating firms and eventual winners are duly registered with the CAC.
“Similar check into Rising Heights Company revealed one Mr. Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan, the spouse of Mrs. Natasha Agboti from Kogi State, as the owner of the firm.
“We suspect that this was a criminal act of fraud and embezzlement aided by institutional support at the NDDC, given the established red flags that include the awarding of contract to an effectively ghost firm and the willful publishing of fabricated images portraying the execution of projects without attestation or due diligence.
“To formally separate truths from fiction in this matter and to ensure that all guilty parties are held accountable, in line with the EFCC’s obligation to ensure a transparent and responsible management of public resources, we demand a swift and full investigation of the matter, including all the quoted persons and entities to obtain justice for residents of the communities who are the ultimate victims of this heist”, the petition stressed.
Efforts by our correspondent to get Amu Global Ventures to respond to the allegation raised in the petition failed yesterday. The Managing Director of the Company, Mr. Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan, after picking a call to his mobile phone declined to respond. He did not also respond to a message sent to his phone on the matter.

The post Group petitions EFCC, alleges fraud in the construction of Aushan-Ilekpe-Imoga road in Edo State appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news