The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a probe into the controversy surrounding the $16 billion allegedly spent on power projects during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Obasanjo had, earlier in the week, declared that he was ready for investigation, after President Muhammadu Buhari suggested that funds earmarked for power projects under his tenure were mismanaged.
The Nation reports that EFCC may invite two ex-ministers, former top officials of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), present and past officials of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and all the people recommended for investigation by a committee of the House of Representatives.
The scope of the investigation includes the total cost of the projects, how much was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), the total number of contracts awarded, the extent of compliance with due process and the status of the execution of all the projects.
A top source told the newspaper: “We are looking into all the allegations and issues surrounding the power projects.
“We will conduct a comprehensive and forensic probe to ascertain the true status of all the projects.
“This investigation will actually ascertain how much has been spent so far.
“We have many figures being bandied about as follows: $16 billion, $13.278 billion, $10.3 billion, $8.4 billion and $8.55 billion.
“This is not an investigation aimed at ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo or anybody. We have to step in to set the records straight.
“Already, a team is collating facts and figures on these projects as part of the preliminary level/ bend of the investigation.”
“We will retrieve the report of the House of Representatives Committee which investigated the power projects.
“The House actually recommended 18 top former public officers, including two ex-ministers, for investigation by anti-graft agencies, especially EFCC and ICPC.
“Many salient issues were raised for investigation by the House”.