EFCC probing petition against NITDA DG –Adebayo Shittu
By Olufemi Atoyebi
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has started investigating the Director General of the National Information Technology and Development Agency, Dr. Isa Pantami, over award of contracts at the agency.
Shittu, who made this known on a radio programme monitored in Ibadan at the weekend, said the investigation followed a petition written against the DG and addressed to the EFCC. He noted that he only heard of the allegation after the EFCC had commenced investigation.
The allegation was made by Good Governance and Accountability Monitoring Group, which is based in Kaduna, on September 27 this year. It alleged that Pantami did not follow due process of the Procurement Act, saying that there was a plan to give the NITDA contract for 2017 to a company.
The petitioner said in the letter to the EFCC that “instead of opting for a rigorous due process and sticking with the global best practices in awarding contracts, the agency’s top shot is on his way to procure Certificate of No Objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement for a certain Galaxy Blackbone at the expense of other tested and reliable contractors.”
While commenting on the allegation, Shittu said, “Before I received the letter, the case was already with the EFCC but (the petitioner) merely copied me. Since that is done, it is not in my power to investigate alleged criminality. I think we should look up to the EFCC on that matter.
“Of course, NITDA has also responded and given me a copy of its response but I don’t have the prerogative or power to investigate. If the matter had not gone to the EFCC, I would have set up a committee to look into it. But let me sound this note of warning on a matter of contracts, so many people get used when they are not succeeding in getting what they want in the processes.
“I am not saying people in NITDA or other government agencies are saints or angels but you have to look at the two ways deeply. At my level, I wish the EFCC, to whom the original petition was addressed, take it up and take a decision and report appropriately.”