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HomeTop NewsEFCC traces strange transaction to ex-Power Minister, Agunloye, quizzes him over Mambila...

EFCC traces strange transaction to ex-Power Minister, Agunloye, quizzes him over Mambila $6 bln contract

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated a former Minister of Power, Olu Agunloye, who is at the center of the $6 billion Mambila hydropower contract, over some strange transactions traced to his accounts.

According to a report by TheCable, a payment with the description “FRM Leno” was traced to his account after he committed the federal government to the disputed contract awarded to Sunrise Power Ltd., promoted by Leno Adesanya.

Sunrise is in arbitration with Nigeria at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris, France, over an alleged breach of contract and is asking for a compensation of $2.3 billion, claiming it had spent millions of dollars on financial and legal consultants before the contract was jettisoned.

It is also asking for a $400 million settlement, as per the terms of the agreement it entered with the federal government in 2020 to end the arbitration.

Recently, former President Olusegun Obasanjo challenged Agunloye to tell Nigerians where he derived the authority to award a $6 billion contract to Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd. in respect of the Mambilla hydropower project in 2003.

In his response, Agunloye said the government was not obliged to pay a kobo to Sunrise under the build, operate, and transfer (BOT) agreement as it was to be fully funded by the newly registered company, whose declared assets were worth less than $2,000 at the time.

Agunloye was, however, silent on where and how he got authorization to commit the government to a $6 billion project when, according to Obasanjo, ministers could not approve more than N25 million when he was president.

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As previously reported, Agunloye awarded the contract to Sunrise a day after the federal executive council asked him to step down from his memo.

This was one week before the end of his tenure as minister of power in May 2003.

The online news platform stated that in its investigations, the EFCC discovered a number of transactions between Sunrise Power and government officials that it considers “inappropriate” and could have a material impact on the arbitration.

The report stated that there was a transfer made by a Sunrise Power official to Agunloye with the description “FRM LENO”

In its defense, Sunrise said it was a “cultural payment” to support the former minister’s medical expenses.

However, a further investigation by the EFCC appeared to show that Agunloye spent the money on shopping and transportation around Orlando, Florida, in the United States, and not on medical expenses.

The discovery of the bank transfers triggered another investigation dating back to the 2000s.

Also, some serving and former government officials will be charged in court over the affair.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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