Nwuche Explains EFCC Invitation Over FYD Contract

Chibudom Nwuche, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Thursday cleared the air on his invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to explain how a Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) N5 billion contracts awarded to him by the Amnesty Office was executed.

A statement from the Foundation for Youth Development, chaired by Nwuche, revealed the former Deputy Speaker's involvement in the controversial contract.

The statement, said the problem started from the execution of second tranche of contracts by the Foundation.

"Following the inception of Presidential Amnesty Programme, the Foundation for Youth Development was invited to mentor and train ex-militants from the Niger Delta. Hon Chibudom Nwuche is the Chairman of the Foundation. As a member of the Presidential Committee on the Niger Delta set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan, it was natural that Hon. Nwuche's Foundation was considered to play a role in the training of the ex-militants.

"The relationship, which dates to 2011, started with the initial award of three contracts for the training and capacity building for about 300 Niger Delta ex-militants in Sweden, Malaysia and Vietnam in shore-based and marine studies which it successfully executed.

"This was to be followed up with provision of practical sea-time experience for the graduates. Following the successful completion of the training programmes, another set of three contracts were further awarded to FYD for which it was mobilised N2.7billion.

"The present issues arose from the execution of the second set of three contracts.

"The Foundation commenced the execution of these contracts by identifying the various schools outside Nigeria and also requested for the list of trainees from the Amnesty office in line with provisions of the contract.

"During the course of mobilization for the contracts, requests for funds came from the Presidential Amnesty Office for assistance to pay some ex-militant leaders and stipends for their boys who were growing restive, as the Amnesty Office's funding was delayed, with a clear understanding that the funds would be returned. FYD, as stakeholders in the programme obliged them. Written requests were made for the refunds but not honoured and the list of trainees was also not provided despite several documented reminders.

"When it appeared that the amnesty programme was to be wound up, the Foundation approached the Federal High Court through a suit - No. FHC/ABJ/CS/769/2015, and demanded that Amnesty Office fulfil their part of the contract as well as to deposit the outstanding contract sums in the court, to be accessed by the Foundation on the completion of the contract. The Foundation also made a claim for special and general damages totalling N5billion.

"This step was taken on the advice of the legal advisers to the Foundation who advised that in the event of winding down of the programme, the Foundation will suffer great losses, especially when the sums advanced to Amnesty Office was not captured officially and the outstanding sums due to the Foundation would go with the winding up."

Source: Independent