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Defence minister says $1.4m contract ‘in order’ — but new documents raise more questions

Defence minister says $1.4m contract ‘in order’ — but new documents raise more questions
November 09
11:15 2017
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Tukur Gusau, spokesman of Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence, says there is no fraud in the award of the contract for the relocation and refurbishment of Nigeria’s UN Level 2 Military Hospital under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The project has been completed and awaiting inspection by the ministry, Gusau also said in a press statement issued on Wednesday in response to TheCable’s report on the affair.

A UN Level 2 hospital is a second line or “brigade/sector” level surgical facility for limited specialist ex­pertise and limited surgical ca­pabilities, including life, limb and organ-saving surgeries.

TheCable had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the $1.4 million contract in September 2016, but it was awarded for $1 million and could not be completed.

Dan-Ali, Danjuma Nanfo, the immediate past permanent secretary in the ministry, and LYM Hassan, a brigadier-general and coordinator of peacekeeping, are at the centre of the scandal.

Hassan is now in detention and facing a court-martial.

But in his reaction, Gusau said a team from the ministry of defence and the defence headquarters would carry out an inspection of the project.

“The fact of the matter is that the procedure of awarding contracts by the ministry is in line with the existing procurement act of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said in a statement.

“The said contract has already been successfully executed and the contractor has requested a team from the ministry of defence and the defence headquarters to carry out an inspection of the project.

“The team is due in Mali soon. There is no fraud in the process.”

He also said the detention of Hassan has nothing to do with the contract.

“The case of the said army general currently standing trial at the army court-martial has no connection with the award of any contract by the ministry,” he said.

Earlier, Gusau had refused to respond to TheCable’s questions, saying the matter was already in court.

“The matter is already in court. How do you expect us to comment? You can go to the court-martial and talk to them if they are willing to talk to you. We cannot talk to you since the issue is already before them,” he had said.

DAN-ALI REQUESTED $1.464 MILLION

BUHARI APPROVED SAME

…AND MINISTRY AWARDS CONTRACT FOR $1 MILLION

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

Gusau, the minister’s spokesman, was silent on several issues and other allegations in the report, namely:

  1. What “due processes” led to the award of the contract to Opems Integrated Concepts Ltd, with office address at Garki market?
  2. Was Opems the company that was approved by the president?
  3. The sum of  $1,464,750 was requested for by the ministry and approved by the president. Why was the contract awarded for $1,000,000?
  4. Opems was given “two months” to execute the contract with effect from February 2, 2017, but on November 8, 2017 — a clear nine months after — the ministry says the contract is now “ready for inspection”.
  5. Since the UN already gave a deadline of August 2017 and has asked Rwanda to provide the facility following Nigeria’s failure, will the ministry of defence still hand over the hospital to the UN?
  6. Why is LYM Hassan, a brigadier-general and coordinator of peacekeeping at the ministry, being court-martialled after he was secretly recorded making “uncomplimentary statements”.
  7. Which company eventually started work in the Super Camp in Mali? The contractor or servicing officers of the Nigerian military who acted under instruction from the minister of defence?

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