The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained a contractor with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Prof. Adesanya Adelekan, in connection with alleged N20billion textbooks and science equipment fraud.
The commission has also restricted the movement of a former Executive Secretary of the UBEC, Mr.Suleiman Dikko, to the country, pending the conclusion of the ongoing probe.
Also, detectives have discovered the huge debt profile left by Dikko and his team in the UBEC through the anticipatory award of contracts.
But the detention of the contractor was considered a breakthrough for the commission because the suspect had been evasive.
A source in the commission said: “Adelekan was taken into custody on Thursday in furtherance of investigation activities into the alleged N20billion fraud in the UBEC involving the supply of science /technical equipment and textbooks to 104 unity colleges.
” Adelekan, who is the Managing Director of Macmillan Nigeria Publishers, remains in the custody of the anti-graft agency as of press time.
“Adelekan had earlier made statements to operatives of the EFCC during which he promised to supply evidence of the execution of the contracts against claims by principals of the unity schools that they only received between 20 to 30 per cent of the equipment/textbooks purportedly supplied to them and for which the contractor collected full payment.
“After he made statements, all efforts to get Adelekan to produce the evidence of performance failed as he kept making promises that he never fulfilled.
“The principals had all made statements and they claimed they didn’t receive all the equipment and books listed against their schools.
“All we wanted from Adelekan was evidence to justify the payments he received.
“We are also hoping he will cooperate with us so we can wrap up this investigation on time.
” Apart from principals of the unity schools, the EFCC has also questioned a former Executive Secretary, Suleiman Dikko, and directors of the UBEC for their alleged role in the fraud.
“The international passports of the contractor and that of the former executive secretary of the commission were impounded pending the conclusion of the investigation into the contracts which were allegedly executed between September 2012 and 2014.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “There are other allegations against Dikko and top officials of the UBEC, including many uncompleted projects, anticipatory award of projects which led to huge debts that almost crippled the commission.
” The EFCC has retrieved many documents from the UBEC.” (The Nation)