CCB to grill Tunji-Ojo today over alleged N438m contract scam

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The Code of Conduct Bureau will today grill the embattled Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, over the involvement of his company in an alleged N438m contract scam uncovered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Consequently, the CCB has invited the minister to appear before it today at its Headquarters, Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.

The CCB has commenced an investigation into the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by the Minister.

The invitation document signed by Gwimi S.P, the CCB Director, Investigation and Monitoring, on behalf of the CCB Chairman, Murtala Aliyu, revealed that the bureau’s invitation is hinged on its mandate and powers as enshrined in the Third Schedule, Part 1, 3 (e) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

The letter addressed to the Minister, read, “The bureau is investigating a case of alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers in which your name featured prominently. Consequently, you are invited for an interview scheduled as follows:

“Date: Tuesday, 16th January, 2024. Time: 1100hrs prompt. Venue: CCB Headquarters on 5th Floor, Annex III, Phase I, Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.

“This invitation is pursuant to the mandate and powers of the Bureau as enshrined in the Third Schedule, Part I, Paragraph 3 (e) to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. Please be properly guided.”

A company, New Planet Projects, allegedly belonging to the Minister, benefitted from an alleged contract scam from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo had denied involvement in the N438.1 million consultancy contract between New Planet Project Limited and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

While appearing on a television programme last week, the minister revealed that he founded the company 10 years ago, but resigned from directorship in 2019 when he contested for the House of Representatives.

The Minister of Interior, who described the report as shocking, said he is just a shareholder in the company and not involved in the day-to-day running of New Planet Project Limited.

He said “I have to say this, I saw it and I was shocked because the company in question was a company, where I was the director.

“About five years ago, I resigned my directorship. Yes, I founded the company 10 years ago. In 2019 and when I got to the House of Representatives, when I won the election precisely, I resigned. I resigned on the 4th of February 2019 with a Certified True Copy of the Corporate Affairs Commission as far back as 2019 to prove this.”

Tunji-Ojo, who said he came into public office knowing fully well that Nigerians would ask questions, charged relevant agencies to probe the contract processes.

He added, “I do not run the company. I don’t have any knowledge of the contract. I am not a signatory to any account. I am not a director of the company.

“The company is a limited liability company, which is a private entity. So if the company is a private entity, of course, I am still a shareholder, and to the best of my knowledge public service rules do not prohibit public officers from being shareholders.

“What public service rule says is that you cannot be a director, of which I had resigned about five years ago.

“I have no business with it, absolutely no business, because I am not involved in the day-to-day running of the company. I do not pursue jobs for the company. I do not bid for the company. I am not a signatory to the company’s account. I am not involved.

“So the company is an entity on its own. If so, the question should be was the job given to the company? If the answer is yes, then the question is did they follow due process? It is a yes; did the company deliver on the job? If it’s a yes, then number three is that they did deliver in line with the agreement of the contract? If it is a no, then they should be sanctioned by the book.”