Suleiman Abba, the Board Chairman of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF), has denied involvement in the N11 billion contract awarded for the procurement of substandard police equipment.
It was alleged that the Executive Secretary of the Trust Fund, Mr Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto with some other members of the management had awarded the contract, a move that contradicted the Act guiding activities of the Fund.
The Act provides under its Section 13, for the constitution of a committee known as the Police Trust Fund Project Implementation Committee. The Committee is responsible for implementing projects approved by the Board.
Section 11 which states the functions of the Board of Trustee states that:
The Board is responsible for the disbursement of money from the Trust Fund to finance project or activities of the Nigeria Police Force and Police institution beneficiaries of the Trust Fund.
Scrutinizing and approving projects which qualify for financing under the Act, exercising control over the management of the Trust Fund with a view of ensuring accountability and proper utilization of money in the Trust Fund for the purposes centered to this Act.
Usually, the Fund sourced its finance from 0.5 percent of the total revenue accruing from the federation account, the 0.005 percent of net profit from companies operating in Nigeria, also Take-off grants and special intervention funds provided by the tiers of government.
Other sources include budgetary allocation from the National Assembly, grants, aids, donations from international organisations, Non-Governmental organisations, the organised private sector including investment made by the trust.
However, the Trust Fund’s Chairman disclosed that he has since been invited by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) where he exonerated himself of knowing about the contract award.
The ex-IGP stated:
In all my interactions with the management, I always start my address by harping on transparency and due process. But the management took the responsibility for such important operational equipment without my knowledge.
They went about this gross anomaly with support of the Bureau for Public Procurement and the Ministry of Police Affairs took responsibility.
The truth of the matter is that the Federal government meant well by creating this Trust Fund to improve the Nigerian Police Force. We came in here to do our best to improve the state of equipment and training for the Force. But people with a mindset of enriching themselves hijacked the process. They virtually told me to hands-off.
I have gone to the ICPC as a witness. I have given my testimony. I told them I am not a party to how the take-off grant for the NPTF was spent. I have not been paid a Kobo for the work I have done so far including visiting Lagos and other places to ascertain the state of dilapidation in Police personnel accommodation.
They circumvented all efforts by myself as Chairman of the board to do the right thing hiding under some circular that had nothing to do with operations of the NPTF which is guided by the NPTF Act of 2019, which was even pointed out by the Attorney General of the federation.
Among others invited by the anti-graft agency were the Director of Legal Services, Mrs Victoria Ojogbane; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed; Director of Finance and Account, Lawal Gunjunju; Special Assistant, Technical, Mr. Salihu Abubakar; and Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala, Director, Human Resources and General Services as well as Board members, Mr. Ben Akabueze and Mansur Hammed, Board Member. Akabueze is also the DG, Budget office.