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Reps ban Rufai for life… Over pentascope deal

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2005/05/25 | Views: 463 |

Reps ban Rufai for life… Over pentascope deal


The ego of Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration was Tuesday bruised by the House of Representatives which adjudged him not fit to hold any public office "having lied on oath".

The ego of Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration was Tuesday bruised by the House of Representatives which adjudged him not fit to hold any public office "having lied on oath".

In a rather surprising manner, all members present voted to ban the minister from holding public office and recommended that he be made to face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) so that he would help Nigerians to know those behind Pentascope that ran NITEL aground.

Accepting the report of the Committee on Communications that probed the botched NITEL\ M-TEL\ Pentascope deal, the House took exception to what they called executive rascality and act of subterfuge in the deal.
"The act of subterfuge and executive rascality perpetuated by the former DG of BPE, Mallam Nasir EL-Rufai, in positioning Pentascope to squander over N100 billion of taxpayers’ money should not be left unpunished," the House said.

Aso, listed for punishment for his roles in the botched deal, a consulting firm, Price Water Coopers, which recommended Pentascope to BPE; the legal firm of Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie & Co; and former chairman of NITEL board, Engr Vincent Maduka were slammed with different degree of sanctions.

Price Water was asked to refund the contract fees and all expences paid for the failed process and be banned for six years from handling any government contract.
Udo Udoma and Bello Osagie were blamed for professional negligence as the Nigerian legal advisers to the BPE and was subsequently asked to refund the contract fees and all expenses paid to them , while Engr. Maduka, B.Verr, and Engr. Asinugo were banned from holding public office.

For the collection of the money paid to the consultants and the legal firms, the clerk of the House was mandated to communicate the decision of the House to the EFCC, while machinery was to be put in place for the recovery of a total of $9.4 million collected as fees on the management contract by Pentascope in addition to a 55 year ban from doing any business in Nigeria.

The House had bent the rule its to allow for enough time to consider the reports of the committee, while members perceived to have been loyal to Mallam El-Rufai had to leave the chamber before voting took place.
Meanwhile, the motion compelling President Olusegun Obasanjo to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Lagos State local government funds was committed to the Committee on Judiciary to advise the House on the next line of action.
Hon Halims Agoda had drawn the attention of members to Order 9 subsection 5 of the House rules which the Speaker uphold when the motion was moved by Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
The judiciary committee was mandated to report back to the House next Tuesday.

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