Serving Minister Linked With N2.7bn Subsidy Scam •Power Cabal Warns EFCC, ICPC Off Case

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A minister in the current Federal Executive Council (FEC) has
been linked with the unregistered company that collected N2.7 billion oil
subsidy claims, informed sources have said.  In September, there
was a riddle  over the ownership of Pinnacle Contractors Limited whose
identity could not be located in the database of the Corporate Affairs
Commission (CAC), but got at total of N2.7 billion as subsidy claims without
supplying any litre of fuel last year.

The company is one
of those listed by the Ministry of Finance and is being investigated by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Anti-Corruption
Network, a non-governmental organisation, headed by a former member of the
House of Representatives, Honourable Dino Melaye, had, two weeks ago, led a
street protest at the Ministry of Finance’s headquarters in Abuja to demand the
identity of the company.

But sources close
to the intelligence networks confirmed on Friday in Abuja that a serving
minister in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan is actually the brain
behind the unregistered company and that some political forces had asked the
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and
the EFCC to back out of the case involving the company.

It was also
gathered that top echelons of the anti-graft bodies are being constanly
reminded of the fate that befell the pioneer chairman of EFCC when he took on
the matter of former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

The EFCC and some
officials of the State Security Services (SSS) had investigated the company and
linked it with the serving minister. 

Though sources
refused to disclose whether the said minister was  male or female, the
minister, it was said, had just been named as a member of the White Paper
committee on some reports on the oil sector submitted to the president recently.

“I can confirm to
you that the minister involved is well connected. There are reports that the
powers that be could be offended, if the EFCC goes further with the
investigations.”

It was also
confirmed that the unregistered company was able to secure bank accounts
through cloning of Forms Co2 and 45 of another company with a similar name
registered with the CAC.

A search conducted
on 18 September showed that only Pinnacle Company Nigeria Limited is registered
on the CAC system.
  
The Federal
Government had, in August, announced that Pinnacle Contractors Limited was one
of the 25 companies that mismanaged different sums of subsidy funds.

Details from the
Ministry of Finance showed that Pinnacle Contractors Limited got N1.2 billion
for alleged importation of fuel into Nigeria when the vessel said to have
supplied the fuel was not at the location where it could actually do so.

The company also
got another N1.5 billion for supplying fuel through a vessel that was no longer
in operation at the time of supply. 

It was gathered
from officials of the CAC that Pinnacle Contractors Limited could not have been
registered since Pinnacle Company Nigeria Limited had already been registered
on the CAC website.

Searches on the CAC
system indicated that Pinnacle Company Nigeria Limited was registered on 18
September, 1981 with registration number RC. 8740. Its registered office is
given as 12, Iwehen Street, Benin City, Edo State.

The directors are
given as Samuel Okhorutomwen Uwadie and Samuel Omorodion Iwadie.

According to the
data at the CAC, the company is registered as importers, exporters,
manufacturers’ representatives, as well as sellers and distributors of general
goods.

The document
released by the Ministry of Finance in August  shows that Pinnacle
Contractors is number 22 on the list of indicted companies.

Source: Tribune

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