N258.9m Scam: EFCC Presents Witnesses Against Ex-President’s Physician, Fiberesima
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on June 8, 2017 presented its first set of witnesses in the trial of Dr. Fortunate Fiberesima, ex-Chief Physician to former President Goodluck Jonathan, who is facing a six-count charge before Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court, Maitama.
The former Chief Executive Officer of the State House Medical Centre, who was first arraigned on April 25, 2017, is alleged to have abused his position by awarding contracts to a company where he had interests.
Specifically, he is alleged to have in 2012 “knowingly and directly held a private interest in the contract for land reclamation at the State House Medical Centre, Abuja, in the sum of N258,950,000 which contract was awarded to T.E & C Limited”, a company in which he was a director.
The prosecution witness, Aminu Abubakar, an engineer and retired director at the State House’s Maintenance department, told the court that indeed, a contract for land reclamation at the State House Medical Centre, actually emanated from his department.
“The land, which was about three hectares, was a rugged area and swampy so we brought in a consulting engineer to advise us properly on what to do to reclaim the land,” he said.
Abubakar, who was led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Hussaina Gambo, added that the procurement department was responsible “for processing, tendering and bidding”, and the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, later marked the location of the site as “restricted tendering”.
“In the process of evaluation, a contractor was required to evaluate the contract. The contractor selected was T. E. & C Limited and the company was awarded the sum of N258,980,000, for the completion period of 16 weeks,” he said.
He however informed the court that “the contractor mobilized to site, started work in February 2012 and concluded in December 2013, after which it was issued Certificate of Practical Completion”.
The second prosecution witness, Rukiyat Odekunle, a director of Procurement at the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, told the court that she signed the award letter, adding that “the method that was adopted was Selected Tender method”.
“In June 2014, a contract was awarded to Mrs Ibomaedemi & Company, for the supply of medical consumables, by the State House, for N36 million, I also signed the award letter by virtue of my position as the then secretary to the Tender’s board,” she said.
Justice Affen has adjourned to July 13, 2017 for “continuation of trial”.