ICPC quizzes agency boss, three directors

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Four top officials of the Rural Electrification Agency on Thursday appeared before the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to defend themselves over allegation of abuse of procurement laws on four projects.

Those who appeared before the commission, according to sources, are the Managing Director; Director, Procurement; Executive Director, Technical Services; and Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund.

The projects involved, according to a petition, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, are 53kWp Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital; 25KWF Solar Mini-Grid at Public Health Laboratory in Lagos; 20KWP Solar Mini Grid in Ikenne; and 10 KWP Solar Mini-Grid in Iberekodo Isolation Centre in Ogun State.

The officials’ appearance at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Thursday was based on an invitation extended to them to answer questions related to the allegation..

Their invitation was based on a petition by Maarifa Solicitors against the board of REA.

The petition dated May 4, 2020 was signed by Olakunle Fapohunda, raised issues concerning two solar hybrid mini-grids projects by REA in Abuja and Lagos, alleging that the two projects were fraught with corrupt practices.

The petition read in part, “A mini-grid is only suitable for a location where power is non-existent and not where there is an existent power grid, like in the instant case.

“In the whole of these awards, the Technical and Physical Planning Departments that are saddled with the function rendering the requisite technical advice were excluded, for obvious reasons.”