Documents obtained from the Ebonyi State public procurement portal have revealed that the state governor, David Umahi, may have disregarded the Ebonyi State Public Procurement and Related Matters Law, 2020, by awarding contracts to two unregistered firms in 2020 A possible indication of fraud and diversion of public funds.
The government of Umahi, documents revealed, awarded the contract for the construction of teacher’s quarters at Omege Agbaja, community primary school CPS, Izzi Local Government Area, to a company named School Construction Nig. Ltd on the 10th of February 2020, through the State Ministry of Education. . The contract with code ocds-zinqhl-004983-EB/MPE/EP007, totaling N20, 108,618 (Twenty Million One Hundred and Eight Thousand Six Hundred and Eighteen Naira), was initiated in the 2018 Budget.
Investigations by SecretReporters, reveal that the company has no registration records with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), an agency responsible for registering businesses in Nigeria. Additionally, on February 10, 2020, the Ministry of Education, acting on behalf of the government, awarded CHRZ Consultant Limited the contract for the construction of teacher’s quarters at Uburu CJSS, Ohaozara Local Government Area. The contract was equally initiated in the 2018 State budget at the cost of N20, 108,618 (Twenty Million One Hundred and Eight Thousand Six Hundred and Eighteen Naira) () with the code ocds-zinqhl-005007-EB/MPE/EP007 on it.
Further findings also indicated that, the company has no CAC registration history.
The awarding of these contracts is a violation of Section 21 of the Ebonyi State Procurement Law 2020. They are also against Section 43 of the federal Public Procurement Act of 2007, and the financial regulation law.