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DOCUMENTS: Two Executive Directors Of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency Secretly Operate Private Firms, Allegedly Involved In Contract Fraud

Two Executive directors of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Olaniyi Netufo and Barka Joda Sajau, have been uncovered to secretly own private companies and may have allegedly involved in the contract fraud rocking the agency.

Netufo is the Executive director, Corporate Services, while Sajau is the Executive Director, Technical Services of the REA, a position they occupied for a period of two (2) years.

SaharaReporters on Friday reported that the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad was enmeshed in a contract fraud as he awarded his own company a N200 million job.

Recently Ahmad also made headlines for operating 37 bank accounts, with all linked to his Bank Verification Number, 2226642****.

FILE

The 39-year-old’s name in one of the bank accounts is that of his wife, Bilikisu Ahmad Salihijo with duplicity and variations in the accounts opened in his name, SaharaReporters had learnt.

“The focus should not be on the MD of the REA alone; the two Executive Directors are also guilty. In fact, the agency stinks. From the documents, it is clear how they were indicted,” a source said on Friday.
SaharaReporters had reported that on the back of the revelation, a civil society organisation, the Fight Against Corruption Network, FACN, called on the anti-graft agencies to investigate and prosecute the REA boss through a statement issued by its Executive Director, Ayoola Bakare.

“The call is premised on the necessity to protect the integrity of the nation’s financial system, particularly at these critical hours when banks are facing the ill consequences of the new naira notes and swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Ahmad has two in Standard Chartered Bank with the account name, Needle Technology, and five in GTBank in the same name, while in his personal name, with variations in the order of the three names, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, he has six with GTBANK, four with First Bank, one with UBA, three with Fidelity, one in Stanbic IBTC with the account name, Salihijo Ahmad Foundation.

“Others in his name are one in Jaiz Bank, two at Access Bank, four at First Bank and two at Eco Bank. Some of the accounts have just two names of the operator.

“Also found linked to the REA MD’s BVN are two GTBANK accounts of a non-governmental organisation, Flexisaf Foundation, two in Jaiz Bank with name, Flexisaf Edusoft Ltd, another, Velocity Group Ltd in Keystone Bank, one En Consulting and Projects Ltd in First Bank.

“The others are two under the name of his wife, Bilikisu Ahmad Salihijo domiciled in Zenith Bank and Jaiz Bank with all the aforementioned accounts criminally opened with different dates of birth of the operator: October 20, 1983, July 27, 2009, January 1, 1989, May 3, 2012, January 29, 2015, August 24, 1985, March 30, 2004 among others,” Bakare had written.

Meanwhile, in petitions written to the Code of Conduct Bureau, by some concerned stakeholders, it was revealed that the two directors of the REA also engaged in contracts fraud.

“Mr Olaniyi Netufo is one of the Executive Directors of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA)He is the Executive Director, Corporate Services, a position which he has so occupied for a period of two (2) years upward now.

“By virtue of the extant provision of section 5 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, (the “Act”) “a public officer SHALL not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities” Also, section 6 of the Act provides thus “without prejudice to the generality of section 5 of this Act, a public officer SHALL not — (a) “receive or be paid emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid emoluments of any other public office”; or (b) “except he is not employed on full-time basis, engage or participate in the management or running of private business, profession or trade; but nothing in this paragraph shall prevent a public officer from engaging in farming or participating in the management or running of any farm.”

“Mr Olaniyi Netufo was appointed to the position of the Executive Director, Corporate Services, REA over two (2) years ago. Following the presentation of a petition for similar breaches against Mr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, the Managing Director/CEO of REA sometimes in April 2023 by the law office of R.O Atabo, SAN & Company, our clients were compelled to conduct a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the search report has necessitated the presentation of the instant petition against Mr Olaniyi Netufo. VI.

“On 29 January 1988, Mr Olaniyi Netufo and two (2) others caused to be registered, a limited liability company- NECOL (Nigeria) Ltd with registration no. RC 107847, a share capital of 20,000 (Twenty Thousand) and as at 18th January 2023, Mr Olaniyi Netufo was/is still a director/shareholder of NECOL (Nigeria) Ltd wherein he holds a majority shares of 40% and thus engaging and or participating in the management or running of a private business, profession or trade during the currency of his engagement as a civil servant, contrary to the provisions of the Code of Conduct Act and Tribunal Act. A copy of the search report is attached herewith and marked as Annexure ON. It is most humbly submitted that Mr Olaniyi Netufo, a public officer has continually put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities as a civil servant.

“Arising from the foregoing, we urge you Mr Chairman Sir, to assist our clients through your good offices, by thoroughly investigating the contents of this petition pursuant to the mandatory provisions of the extant Code of Conduct Act and Tribunal Act and to act accordingly. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and please accept the assurances of our highest professional regards.”

The same petition which was written to the CCB against the second director, Sajau was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Power, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) among others.

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