The Public Account Committee PAC, of the House of Representatives has summoned the Directors-General of National Intelligence Agency NiA and that of the Defence Intelligence Agency DIA over their roles in the financing of contracts awarded by the Nigerian High Commission in Addisa-Ababa, Ethiopia.

This is just as the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Janet Oliseh led retired Ambassador and latter PS of the ministry Ambassador Lulu and two Financial Attacthees that served in the Mission during the time of the controversial contract, signed in 2013, to explain their roles in the payment process.

The committee at the Investigative Hearing got to know that the award of contract for the construction of a presidential lodge and guest chalets to serve the Nigerian delegation to the annual AU conference in the Ethopian capital, at the instance of then President Goodluck Jonathan’s pronouncement was exclusively financed by the two major external-related security agencies, the DIA and the NIA.

“From records I met upon my recent resumption as the director overseeing the PS office in the ministry, the bank account from which the project was financed untill an order came for its stoppage was controlled by the DIA and the NIA, with the Foreign Affairs Ministry not having any say or control over it” said Mrs. Oliseh.

She said this explained the first part of the query raised by the Auditor General of the Federation AGF, that the Nigerian Mission in Ethiopia was denying it access to financial documents in its investigation on the projects costed at over N220 million.

The Office of the AuGF had raised an 8-point query on the Addisa Baba Mission project also bordering on funds embezzlement, non compliance to public procurement, provisions in contract award, payment to contractors without required certificates as well as not following due process in virtually all stages of the contract award.

Though the acting PS initially denied and tried to give explanations to issues raised in the Auditor’s query, she later upon facts presented by the committee, asked for more time to review the reply submitted by the ministry before her assumption of office, with a view of getting to the heart of the matter and providing additional information and documents as requested by the committee.

The chairman of the committee Mr Oluwole Oke had earlier frowned at the manner both Ambassador Lulu and his predecessor in office at the Addis Ababa Mission Ambassador Adeoye, had handled the long-lasting issue to drag on till now without resolving it.

Mr Oke noted that in as much as much of the Committee’s work is post-mortem in nature, the mission contract issue since 2013 was allowed to drag on for two long with non of the personalities involved exhaustively exploring the available windows of resolution.

The committee chairman noted that the committee was pressed for time to turn in its reports on audit queries and granted the acting PS two weeks instead of the six weeks she asked for to get her acts together for reappearance.

RADIO NIGERIA

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