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N1.576 billion ICT contract scandal hits NASS, as CSO accuses CNA, Ojo of authority stealing



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Barely eight months into the administration of Arc. Amos Olatunde Ojo as Clerk to the National Assembly, (CNA), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Equity and Transparency Development Initiative, has alleged authority stealing by the CNA to the tune of N1,576,137,500.

00 (One billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-six million, One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Five Hjndred Naira only).

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The allegation is sequel to a petition dated 10th January, 2021 sent to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which alleged that the NASS CNA was involved in ICT contract splitting and award of contracts to companies he has interest using cronies.

The petition which he was yet to be invited by the anti-graft agency for questioning, pointed out that some companies which were competent enough and which passed through the process for the award of contract were denied, while he high-jacked the contract, split and inflated figures. push({});

The CSO, which carried its own independent investigation insisted on prosecution of the Clerk for a breach of Nigeria’s Security System by compromising the National Assembly Information Technology Network and other official infractions, through a company he has a vested interest.

The petition which was signed by the group’s head, Ijewa Obioma, frowned at the redeployment of NASS ICT unit staff who have been previously trained with a lot of resources to other departments that are not related to their area of competence for the fear that they were behind leakages of contracts scam that have been pepertuated by the Clerk.

The petition read: “As part of our cardinal objectives as a civil society organization, our recent search light has taken us to the National Assembly, particularly at the department of Information Technology department, where we unearthed some eye-popping underling practices, that border more in contract awards and executions, to a company a top management staff of the National Assembly, has a strong interest in, using close persons and associates.

“Unfortunately, such contract awards, we found out, have the potential to breach the security system of the country, especially by exposing some vital information bordering on National Assembly/Nigeria security network.

”Prior to Arch. Amos Olatunde Ojo taking over office as the Clerk to the National Assembly, (previously he was the Secretary, Procurement, Estate and Works), there were three Internet Service Providers providing internet services to the National Assembly.

“These companies are: Nanocom International Limited; Navadee Integrated Nigeria Limited; and NEWTECH Global Networks.

“They were individually awarded contracts at total sum of N207,000,000 each per annum, to run for initial two years (01/05/2019 to 30/04/2021) per company; totaling N621,000,0000 for the first two companies as mentioned above.

“On resumption of duty as the Clerk to the National Assembly, our findings revealed, Arch. Amos O. Ojo, engaged the services of two companies he has a strong interest in, namely; Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited with office address at number 14, Balarabe Musa Crescent, Off Samuel Manuwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and NEWTECH Global Networks at Plot 90, Kwame Nkrumah Crescent, Asokoro Abuja, without due process.

“NEWTECH Global Networks was engaged to provide internet services at a sum total of N748,200,000 while Sunnet Systems & Datacom Services Limited, was engaged as ICT Consultant & Network Infrastructure manager for the National Assembly Information Technology Department, at a contract sum of N206, 937,500.00.

“Having assumed duty as the Clerk to the National Assembly, Arch. Amos O. Ojo clandestinely positioned Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited, to undertake more hatchet jobs as a way of entrenching and cornering all the lucrative contracts in the ICT Department; this include witch-hunting and frustration of already established contractors, hitherto doing a marvelous work in the department.

“The most obvious of all these, as mentioned above, is the task of concluding all auditing process as started when he, (Arch. Amos O. Ojo) was Secretary, Procurement, Estate and Works. This task was essentially trusted on the hands of the newly engaged Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited which was primarily engaged to audit the ICT Department.

Equity and Transparency Development Initiative said the elimination series was carried out on the targeted companies hatbwere already providing services by indicting them, save for the New Tech Global Network which the CNA brought in preference to other Internet Service Provider companies.

Consequently, the CSO explained that the contract which was meant for three companies previously in the sum of N621 million have been lumped into a single swoop and was awarded to New Tech Global Network at an inflated rate of N750 million.

On the alleged security breach, the group said “it was discovered that there was no basis to discontinue the contract awarded to Helios Nigeria Limited. However, the National Assembly management was made to disengage their services based on the advice of the Auditor, Sunnet System and Data Services Limited.

“But when Helios Nigeria Limited was invited through a letter marked NASS/3154/ICT/IV, dated 13th November 2020 (please see document 111) to handover, it was discovered by the ICT department and the new ICT consultants /Network maintenance Company, Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited; that the whole Enterprise network Infrastructure of the National Assembly had been compromised, and nobody could access the ICT Infrastructure.

“We we learnt that when Helios Nigeria Limited was confronted on the issue, during a meeting, it however, denied any wrong doing. This made the new Auditor/Consultant, Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited to allege that Helios Nigeria Limited had been transmitting information, secretly though, from the National Assembly to the home country of Mr Joseph Quaye (Ghanaian), who is the Chief Operating Officer of Helios Nigeria Limited.

“We however learnt that based on this weighty allegation coming from Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited, Mr. Joseph Quaye left the meeting in anger without proper handing over.

“This action, therefore, prompted the ICT department to formerly write and reported the incident to the NASS management. Based on the written report, the NASS management led by the Clerk Arch. Amos Ojo, invited the Directorate of State Services (DSS).

“The invitation of DSS, made it possible for the Clerk to post some senior staff of IT department to other departments; this was done to achieve his long aim and objective in which he brought in Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited in the first place; to take over all contract jobs emanating from IT department.

“It will interest the respected anti-corruption agency to know that neither Mr. Joseph Quaye, the man behind Helios Nigeria Limited or his company, whom the Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited indicted and labeled as committing espionage because of the way he was accused of fretting sensitive information in the National Assembly and Nigeria in general to his home country, Ghana, was neither arrested, detained or prosecuted, for lack of any forensic evidence against him.”

A senior staff in the Procurement Unit in the National Assembly who pleaded not to be named told CAPITAL POST on Friday that there have never been transoarency in the conduct of award of contracts, noting that the present Clerk was not the first and may not be the last.

According to him, he was aware of the petition, but would not comment on it.

In what he described as “internal and external interests”, he admitted that there were interests which determines which company got what contracts.


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