N894m contract scam: Bankole gave contracts to ghost firms, says EFCC

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ABUJA — Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, accused the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, of using fake companies to defraud the Federal Government of N894 million while in office.

EFCC told a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, efforts to trace most of the companies awarded contracts by the erstwhile Speaker proved abortive as the benefiting companies were non-existent.

Testifying at the resumed trial yesterday, a prosecution witness, PW-1, A.S.P, Ibrahim Ahmed, told the court that the former Speaker awarded contracts to companies not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.

Ibrahim was part of the team that investigated allegation that Bankole inflated costs of items bought for members of the 6th session of the House.

The witness said efforts by the commission to trace the locations of the companies were futile as the addresses found on the contract award documents purported to belong to the companies were non-existent.

He said the investigation was prompted by a petition that was lodged before the agency by Bankole’s colleagues in the House of Representatives.

He said: “My Lord, after our thorough investigations with CAC, and close perusal of the documents used by the then leadership of the House of Representatives under the accused person in the award of the said contracts, we found out that the contract details of the beneficiary companies were non-existent.

“Letters sent to the purported addresses on the contract papers were returned two weeks later fbecause the addresses were non-existent.”

Meanwhile, trial Justice Donatus Okorowo, yesterday, adjourned further hearing on the matter till April 3.

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