Moro, others designed failed NIS recruitment to defraud Nigerians – EFCC - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Moro, others designed failed NIS recruitment to defraud Nigerians – EFCC

Moro, others designed failed NIS recruitment to defraud Nigerians – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claims former Interior Minister, Abba Moro and three others deliberately designed the botched March 15, 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise solely for the purpose of defrauding job seeking Nigerians.

Several applicants from the 675,675 that paid N1000 each for the recruitment form died on the faithful day.

They were either trampled upon or got exhausted.

Many others were injured.

Standing trial with Moro on an 11-count charge of engaging in procurement fraud, abuse of office, money laundering, among others are Anastasia Daniel Nwobia, Felix O. Alayebami and a private firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd.

Trying them is a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

According to the prosecution the accused persons by-passed all relevant laws, including the Public Procurement Act, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment) Act 2005 and the Immigration and Prison Board Act to enable them manipulate the recruitment process to suit their aim.

It alleged that not only did the defendants sidestep established procedure in awarding a contract for the provision of an online recruitment portal to Drexel Tech, they also failed to advertise the contract as required to exclude eligible companies from applying and to pave the way for their preferred firm, which was not registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The prosecution stated these in its separate responses to the no-case submissions made by the defendants. The defendants, through their lawyers, including Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN, for Moro) insisted, in their no-case submissions, that they are innocent.

They argued that the prosecution failed, through the evidence led by its 12 witnesses, to establish a prima facie case against them.

Moro and others who analysed the evidence of the 12 prosecution witnesses, argued among others, that the state failed to link them with the offences charged.

But in the responses, filed by a legal team led by Aliyu Yusuf, the prosecution detailed the roles played by the four defendants in the alleged scam and argued that it has sufficiently established a prima facie case against the defendants to warrant their being called upon, by the court, to defend themselves against the charges.

The prosecution said: “It is our submission that the foundation of the fraudulent contract started with an unsolicited proposal from a company known as Rosbony Ltd. This was attested to in the statement of the 1st defendant (Moro), admitted and marked as Exhibit AAFD48 (1-8). According to him, four firms, including Drexel Tech Global Ltd were invited to bid.

“Evidence before the court is that the procurement process was activated by the defendants with utter disregard for the provisions of BPP Act 2007, Immigration and Prison Board Act 2004 and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment) Act 2005 in a scheme designed to fraudulently obtain money from innocent applicants.

“The 1st defendant was the Minister of Interior and the Chairman of the Civil Defence, Immigration, Fire Service and Prisons Board. He was the one that entered into the agreement to provide recruitment with Drexel Tech Ltd.

“The 2nd defendant was the Permanent Secretary and Chief Accounting Officer of the Ministry and the Chairman of the Ministerial Tender Board that awarded the contract to Drexel Tech Ltd

“The 3rd defendant was the Deputy Director of Procurement in the Ministry of Interior. Evidence before the court, as narrated by PW12, showed that the 3rd defendant constituted the technical evaluation committee, whose members he practically handpicked, to evaluate the contract and recommended its award to Drexel, even when he has no such powers.

“The 3rd defendant also signed the letter of award of the contract to Drexel. The due process report of the BPP admitted as Exhibit AAFD19 is very clear that it is the responsibility to 2nd defendant to supervise the conduct of all procurement process and to set up such committee.

“The 4th defendant’s officials submitted all the documents acted on by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants. Documents such as Outline Business Case – Exhibit AAF20 and AAFD23 – told lies about themselves.

“The 4th defendant later opened an account to warehouse the proceeds of the unlawful act, which was later laundered.

“Perhaps, the most damaging evidence before the court is that Drexel Tech Ltd has no legal capacity to enter into the contract to the knowledge of the defendants. It is also not in doubt that, from the exhibits tendered before this court, Drexel Tech was the company awarded the contract by the defendants.

“It is our submission that it was fraudulent for the 3rd defendant, as a Procurement Officer with the Ministry, to recommend the award of consultancy contract to an unregistered company.

“We further submit that the 4th defendant conspired with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants by opening a bank account to warehouse the proceeds of the unlawful activity.

“We submit that the money derived from the scratch card purchase by the applicants was proceeds of unlawful activities, and was converted by the 4th defendant.

“The evidence of PW6 shows how the funds obtained from the innocent job seekers were laundered in buying property at Wuse and Maitama areas of Abuja. And that part of the money was changed to US dollars and laundered by one Alhaji Mahmood Ahmadu, the Chief Executive Officer of the 4th defendant, now at large.

“We humbly submit that the prosecution has made out a prima facie case requiring the defendants to make some explanations to this honourable court.

“We submit that the evidence adduced by the prosecution has shown conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence from innocent applicants, collusion and favour in the procurement process against the defendants.

“The entire exercise was a scheme designed to obtain money from innocent applicants under the influence of contract. The portal does not exist anywhere even though it was planned to service other paramilitary services under the Ministry of Interior for five years.

“In the process, applicants lost their lives and money obtained in the name of application fees. Also no applicant that went through that process was employed into the Nigerian Immigration Service.

“The monies obtained from them have been used by the 4th defendant to acquire properties. We submit that it will be unjust for the 4th defendant to retain the proceeds of this fraud by sitting on the money paid by innocent Nigerian job applicants.

“This honourable court should also take cognisance of the fact the defendants failed to apply the entire provision of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and Infrastructure Confession Commission Act 2005 and Immigration and Prisons Board Act 2005.

“The conduct of the defendants leaves no other conclusion than that the whole exercise was designed to obtain money under false pretense from innocent applicants,” the prosecution said.
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