HoR Says Self Described Pillar of Integrity, Tony Anenih Has Case To Answer About N20 Billion Scam
THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts at the weekend declared that erstwhile Works and Housing Minister, Tony Anenih, must appear before it this week to answer some questions regarding his role in the alleged N20 billion road contract scam.
The committee said that the issue of the contract scam has made it virtually impossible for the committee to conclude its work on the 2006 Auditor-General to the Federation’s yearly report.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, said: “We will formally invite Anenih to come and explain to us what he knew about the N20 billion yet to be accounted for in the contract which was awarded during his tenure as Works Minister.
“We want him to come so that we can conclude our findings because he has a case to answer because if he does not come, it will make our findings inconclusive.”
Reacting to Anenih’s claim that he has not been formally invited, Olamilekan said: “Yes, we are going to do that this week unfailingly.”
The chairman also said that nine states’ permanent secretaries managing basin authorities in their various states would appear before the committee to explain how some N993 million disappeared from their coffers.
He said: “These men will give account of all the monies because some of them have been retired from service and they are still working. Some have been acting for over a period of six months, but we know the number of months that they can act.”
It would be recalled that Anenih was mentioned last year to have been involved in a N2.3 billion purportedly disbursed for an abandoned road project in Nasarawa State in 2006.
The contract was said to have been awarded in 2001.
The committee also threatened to summon the site engineers, Federal Controller of Works and Permanent Secretary of the ministry when the contract was awarded.
The committee chairman, Olamilekan, had threatened he would not hesitate to use the services of INTERPOL to extradite the contractor, Torino Internazionale Nigeria Limited, that left the country after collecting N1.8 billion without executing the road project.
According to him, Anenih had been invited in respect of a memo he presented to the then Federal Executive Council under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which made the body to award the contract, despite earlier strong advice that the firm had no technical capacity to handle the road project.