Three religious groups, Abuja Muslim Forum (AMF), Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) and Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), have called for the probe of transactions of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
Similarly, the groups accused the Director-General of NBET, Dr Marlyin Amobi, of witch-hunting two management staff of the company for their refusal to process claims of N37.5million being her travel return ticket and legal fees to two legal firms respectively.
In a report co-signed by the National Coordinator of MMWG, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, Amir of AMF, Barrister Lukman Ahmad, and the President of MURIC, Professor Is-haq Akintola, the groups alleged that Amobi suspended salaries of the two embattled management staff, Mr Waziri Bintube, Chief Finance Officer and Mr. Abddullahi Sambo, the NBET’s Head of Internal Audit since November, 2017.
The report read in part: ‘’Following reports of corruption, inefficiency and ineffectiveness leveled against the MD/CEO of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Company Ltd (NBET), the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG), the Abuja Muslim Forum (AMF) and the Muslim Rights Concerns (MURIC) jointly set-up a panel to investigate the allegations in order to save the company from collapse.
“That on assumption of office in 2016, the new MD, Dr Marilyn Amobi, convened a meeting of the management and all Heads of the Departments to brief her on their duties and responsibilities.
However, one of them (Bintube and Sambo) said he appealed at the meeting that she should allow officers follow due process inconformity with Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations, but that, the MD had the right to overrule them if she felt differently.
“That, the first area of conflict between them, was the instruction from the MD that they should pay the sum of N7.5million as MD’s Travel’s Return Ticket to a Travel Agent at an accumulation rate of N2.5million per month, which they queried.
“They also queried payment of N30million Legal Services payment to one Arinze & Co and I-lex Legal Services.
That these two payments ran foul of the financial and audit provisions, hence, they were processed for payment.
However, the MD was notified why such payments could not be made but she was not satisfied.
She was thus requested to overrule them in writing but she failed to do so.
“Investigation revealed that shortly after they were moved from their desks, the two payments were made, giving credence to their brief that they were moved out of their professional schedules to pave way for the MD to do her biddings with ‘her own people.
“Their refusal to process questionable claims of N7.5million claimed to be MD’s Travel Return Ticket and N30million Legal Fees to two Legal Firms who had not done any work worthy of such an amount to be paid, caused the MD to re-assign them to non-professional departments.
“That the anti-corruption posture of both Waziri Bintube, the Chief Finance Officer and Abdullahi Sambo, the Head of Internal Audit, which compelled them to follow due process and prevent unlawful financial transactions, precipitated the crisis between them and the MD/CEO).
“The team found out that what led to the current imbroglio in NBET has to do with personal and vested interest of the MD/CEO of the company in the funds of the company, which was mismanaged and these two officers prevented and which eventually earned them illegal removal.
“It is our recommendation that the Hon.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing should use his power to justifiably by re-instating management staff of the NBET, Waziri Bintube and Abdullahi Sambo, and order a probe of all transactions of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company PLC (NBET) within the material issues raised in this report.’’
When contacted, the NBET DG denied all the allegations leveled against her, saying that a committee set-up by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhahi Saad Abukakar, who is the Chairman of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), did not find her wanting.
Amobi told Blueprint that the Independent Corrupt Practice and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), had equally investigated the allegation, claiming that nothing incriminating was found against her.
She, however, said that as the Managing Director of NBET, she has the right to re-organise her office for efficiency