Of Lies, Distortions and Deceptive and Selective Presentation Of Documents:A Rejoinder

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Once again we are forced to bring to the attention of Nigerians the true and accurate position of this wanton and criminal attempt to defame the unimpeachable character and person of Prof Mahmood Yakubu whose first term as Executive Secretary of TETFund just lapsed. The Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group in our earlier rejoinder to this campaign of calumny clearly established reasons for our intervention in this matter, one of which is our intimate knowledge of the issues involved having carried out assessment of the TETFUND both before and during the tenure of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu . It is also pertinent to state that if lies are not exposed and painted for what they are, i.e satanic and malicious, they are usually accepted as truth by unsuspecting members of the public and somehow assumes a place in history where they ought not to.

In our first rejoinder, we clearly debunked the false and deceptive claim by promoters of this hogwash of a “breaking story ” that judgement was entered against the TETFUND’s application for a stay of execution pending the exhaustion of all legal options available to it. We hereby attach a copy of the Stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal presided by Hon. Justice Z.A . Bulkachuwa.

In a bid to manufacture “an exclusive story of graft” or as the promoters of this nonsensical hatchet job put it “stolen money”, a non-existent figure of 850million naira is being bandied around. Looking closely at the document attached by them to support the attempt to link Prof Mahmood to this baseless story, at the last paragraph, it will be noticed that what the UBEC requested for was actually N722,500,000. The question that begs answer is where 850million came from. Only someone learning how to concoct fables could have strewn that piece of rubbish together. Also, take note that before the 7 September, 2007 letter from UBEC the then ETF had written a letter asking it to forward details of how it intended to utilize the funds. It also very clearly informed the UBEC that accessing the fund was only contingent upon “satisfactory completion and retirement of the year 2005 allocation”. A copy of the letter hereby attached. This condition was predicated on the fact that the then Management of ETF was not too comfortable with the implementation of the first Phase of the intervention(see attachment).Note that the approval of the intervention and communication thereof was before Prof Mahmood took office.

On assumption of office , Prof Mahmood sent a letter to the UBEC wherein he noted the same concerns raised by the previous Management on the application and implementation of the First Phase of the intervention. He went further to ask the UBEC to first of all SUBMIT THE FINAL REPORT ON PHASE 1 indicating 100% completion of the phase and to begin the process of implementation of 2nd Phase by setting in motion processes aimed at complying with procurement Due Process before it can assess the funds for the second Phase of the intervention (see attached document). It is in line with these directives that the UBEC took out the paid adverts. Immediately the adverts were published, INTERMARKETS LIMITED who had manufactured the chairs and desks in the first phase went to court . This is the point where the matter is as of today and is therefore subjudice.

The ISDMG had served the TETFUND a freedom of information request on the status of the funds in question and has been assured just as we already know that no single dime had been released to the UBEC or anybody else for that matter( find attached a letter to that effect). If the promoters of these bunches of lies have information to the contrary, we challenge them to provide bank details where this money was lodged since 850million can’t just vanish without trace. More so, if they insist the money was released to the UBEC, then let them ask the UBEC where the funds went to and stop this juvenile attempt at destroying an innocent man’s image just for pecuniary interests. And again, since the promoters of this junk news want us to believe that the money in question has been “stolen”, how come the plaintiffs in the case INTERMARKETS Limited pled with the court for a litigation account to be opened with the court where the money can be lodged pending the determination of the substantive matter? Is it likely that the plaintiffs are aware that the money is available on demand? Since the promoters of this story have “insider” information on the status of the funds, what is preventing them from furnishing this medium the details of the alleged fraudulent transactions. The answer is simple: there is no shred of evidence anywhere in the world to backup this callous and repugnant claim! The promoters of this ill-conceived and illogical mumbo jumbo seemed to be frantically looking for a smoking gun which they assumed they have found in the use of the word “received” by the UBEC in its advert. Well, one only needs to look at the very rigorous and complex processes leading up to the release of cash by the TETFUND. To summarize the process, a letter of allocation is conveyed to the beneficiary notifying it of the intervention and calling on them to forward to the TETFUND how they intend to apply the fund. An Approval-In-Principle is then issued which stipulates that the beneficiary must comply with all laid down Due Process procedure. If the beneficiary had previously accessed funds from the TETFUND,it must show proof of 100% completion of the projects. The Due Process compliance includes taking out adverts and inviting pre-qualification, tenders and bid as the case may be from interested companies. All these documents must be sent to the TETFUND for analysis and certification. The issuance of a formal Approval-in-Principle (AIP) still does not translate to cash. Note that at any point where the TETFUND feels unsatisfied with the processes, it withholds the release of cash and in this particular case, an AIP HAS NOT EVEN BEEN ISSUED LET ALONE THE RELEASE OF CASH. The practice of beneficiaries when calling for the submission of pre-qualification or bid documents from contractors is to announce that they have “Received” allocation from the FUND,you only need to go through the pages of Nigeria’s daily Newspapers to see them awash with this type of announcements from TETFUND’s beneficiaries. A major reason for the adoption of this style of announcement by beneficiaries is simply the fact that contractors are skeptical when dealing with most institutions in Nigeria as a result of failure to fulfill contractual obligations on the part of the institutions especially when it gets to cash backing for NON-TETFUND funded projects. However, the same contractors fall over themselves when it involves TETFUND BECAUSE THEY KNOW THERE IS CASH GUARANTEE AND THAT THE TETFUND WILL NEVER ALLOW ANY BENEFICIARY TO CIRCUMVENT DUE PROCESS WHILE IMPLEMENTING ANY ASPECT OF THE FUND’s INTERVENTIONS. It is even instructive to note that in some states of the federation, an Association of TETFUND Contractors have been formed owing to the confidence reposed in the transparent processes initiated and instituted by the FUND. Is it not praiseworthy that the TETFUND is about the only Agency of government that does not have any cases of abandoned projects attached to its interventions? Here goes your smoking gun!

Court Of Appeal A,    Court Of Appeal B,   Court Of Appeal C,   Freedom Of Information Request,   Procurement Oct 4 2007. A,   Procurement Aug. 15 2007. A,   Procurement Aug. 15 2007. B,  Procurement Oct 4 2007. B

Dr Chima Amadi
Executive Director
Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group
Suite 84/85 Banex Vom Plaza,
Aminu Kano Crescent , Wuse 2, Abuja

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