-N36m contract scam rocks Kogi Health Ministry
Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu has been accused of allegedly enriching himself through award of contracts in a company he has vested interest.
This is contained in a petition addressed to Governor Yahaya Bello by an anti-corruption group, Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Transparency and accountability, which was made available to Nigerian Pilot yesterday.
Convener of the group, Comrade Ibrahim Kabir Dallah, disclosed that the commissioner was using his office to gain advantages in award of contracts to companies that belong to his school mates and allies.
The civil society group explained that the legal search on profile of two companies, AKH Premier Healthcare Limited and Marusa Integrated Services, have Dr. Musa Abdulkarim Omoniye, classmate of the commissioner, as director with majority share capital.
Dallah further explained that the Premier Healthcare Limited has other four shareholders, and that Omoniye works with the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, as obstetrician and gynaecologist, a situation he noted breaches the Kogi State Government Policy and Mandate of Transparency, Accountability and Open Contracting as contained in the Kogi State Bureau of Public Procurement Act.
According to him, the company, which was registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, on March 14, 2008, has a share capital of N5million, wondering how such company could execute a contract worth N36m
The group also expressed concern that the commissioner was also involved in contract splitting where they discovered a business name that was registered under part “B” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, as amended, a situation they alleged denied other limited liability companies during the symbolic bidding.
The petition read in part: “We have proof of reasonable suspicion that the Commissioner for Health in Kogi State is in the corrupt and immoral business of circumventing all established due process in the award of contracts in order to award it to himself through a corrupt front, one Dr. Musa Abdulkarim who we have been informed is an obstetrician and gynaecologist in the service of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
“Both the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Audu and Dr. Musa Abdulkarim, who is director in AKH Premier Healthcare Limited and the proprietor, Marusa Integrated Services, are classmates, close friends and associates.
“These companies receive over sixty percent, 60 percent, of all the contracts in the Kogi State Ministry of health without any regard to Due Process and transparency.
“The said companies which an official search have been conducted on are in breach of the Articles and Memorandum of Understanding of its registration.
“But in one, out of the numerous jobs it has executed, it was awarded the contract of Supply of HIV Test Kits in the sum of N36,876,950 by the Kogi State Ministry of Health.
“Other clear violation of the Kogi State Government Policy and Mandate of Transparency, Accountability and Open Contracting as contained in the Kogi State Bureau of Public Procurement Act exist, with regards to the extent the Commissioner can go to confer undue advantage to these companies which are not eligible to undertake government contracts over eligible ones.
“These companies were registered as follows: AKH Premier Healthcare Limited in 2018 and Marusa Integrated Services in the same 2018.
“AKH Premier Healthcare Limited is a limited liability company while Marusa Integrated Services is a business name.
“They could not have done jobs in their years of registration, except in partnership with other companies.
“Dr. Musa Abdulkarim Omoniye and his wife or close family member are directors in the AKH Premier Healthcare Limited and are proprietors of Marusa Integrated Services. Dr. Omoniye is a civil servant, being a staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.”
They further noted that the Commissioner therefore was in clear breach of the ICPC Act 2004 (as amended), as Section 19 of the Act states clearly that “any public officer who uses his office or position to gratify or confer any corrupt or unfair advantage upon himself or any relation or associate of the public officer or any other public officer shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for five years without option of fine. He is also in clear breach of the Code of Conduct Act and Public Service Rules,” adding that Dr. Omoniye on his part was in excess breach of both the Code of Conduct Act and the Civil/Public Service Rules.
However, the commissioner could not respond to the allegations as his phone was switched of when Nigerian Pilot put a call to him neither did he reply text messages sent to him.
On his part, Dr Omoniyi refused responding to questions thrown to him when he was contacted on phone the first time, saying he knew nothing about the issue, while on a second call he said he was driving and refused picking another call put to him hours later, neither did he respond to text messages also sent to him.
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