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Alleged Violation of Public Procurement Act: Human rights lawyer cautions FAAN, BPP, others

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A renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Barrister B. Arekameh has cautioned the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to desist from acts tantamount to violation of the extant provisions of Public Procurement Act 2007.

Barrister Arekameh of AREKAMEH & Arekameh’s Chambers, who wrote on behalf of his client, one Mr. Frank. Olu Ojo, alleged that, the FAAN and BPP deliberately awarded a Cleaning and Janitorial Services Contract to the “West Africa Infrastructure Nigeria Limited” knowing fully well that such an act is illegal and the said contract is a subject of litigation in the court of law.

In a letter made available to our correspondent on Monday, titled: ‘’NOTICE TO ABSTAIN FROM FURTHER DESPICABLE ACT, ABUSE OF OFFICE AND CONDUCT LIKELY TO CAUSE BREACH OF PEACE IN THE AIRPORT”, the lawyer alleged flagrant abuse of the competencies of the Court of law, due processes, and desperation on the side of the Minister of Aviation, the office of the Managing Director, FAAN and BPP, in the manner a Janitorial and Cleaning Service Contract was awarded to West Africa Infrastructure Nigeria Limited.

Giving insight to why concern authorities needs to follow due process and respect the law, he revealed that “the rationale behind the noticed is premised on the indisputable fact that they are not unaware that there are pending lawsuits at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos State, Suit No: FHC/L/CS/325/2022 and Suit No: FHC/L/CS/586/2022 respectively, challenging the charade and purported contract awards of Cleaning and Janitorial Services, the Minister of Aviation, Senator. Hadi Abubakar Sirika, and the Director-General of BPP, Mr. Mamman Ahamadu, claimed to have awarded, notwithstanding the fact that they are quite aware of the action and inaction being challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction, went ahead and issued purported awards letter of contract to alleged phony companies such as West Africa Infrastructure Nig. Ltd that knows less to nothing as regards Cleaning and Janitorial Services”.

Barrister Arakameh, who queried the legality of the supposed awarded Contract noted that, the fundamental requirement involved in the award of contract demand, Public advert placement by the way of invitation to tender & expression of interest, eligibility requirements, collection of tender documents and opening of technical bids and thereafter awards of contracts to successful bidder or bidders.

He noted that ” in the year 2020, and 2021 respectively, Cleaning and Janitorial Services was not includes in such advertorial. He therefore questioned how such contract was awarded in the year 2022 without pre-Qualification for procurement.”

Speaking further on a letter purportedly written by the Western Africa Infrastructure Nigeria Limited dated 12th May, 2022, Tagged “ACCEPTANCE OF AWARD OF CONTRACT FOR THE CLEANING OF SERVICES AT THE GENERAL AVIATION TERMINAL (ALPHA & ZULU TERMINAL and CAR PARK) ACCESS ROAD FROM THE FORTE OIL ROUND ABOUT TO DROP OFF ZONE TO AGEGE MOTOR ROAD, MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT”

The Human Rights crusader said, , “the acceptance of Award of Contract addressed to the duo of the Minister of Aviation and the Office of the Bureau of Public Procurement is a graphical demonstration of the script being acted by the, Minister of Aviation, Senator. Hadi Abubakar Sirika and the Director-General of Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Mamman Ahamadu.

He explained that, for a valid contracts to take place, whether public or government procurement it must undergo “public advert placement by way of invitation to tender and expression of interest, eligibility requirements, collections of tender documents and opening of technical bids and thereafter awards of contracts to successful bidder or bidders”

He therefore charged the concerned stakeholder’s to swiftly re-traced their steps, correct the anomalies and swiftly do the needful which is “to rescind the purported contracts awards in question, as it is counter-productive to premised the award of the contract on section 42 (1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and Section 43 (1) (a) (b) (c) (2) (3) (4) Public Procurement Act, 2007, because such circumstances did not arise from the 1st day of January, 2022 or any other day, till date”.

In another development, a source from the FAAN, who preferred anonymity told our correspondent that FAAN in the recent time had been finding it difficult to pay her staff as at when due. And alleged t that the diversion of the internally Generated Revenue to contract without following due processes may have been responsible for such.

He noted that in the light of recent arrest of the Accountant -General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed over alleged fraudulent act up to the tune of 80billion naira by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

It may not be out of order for the relevant agencies of the government to beam its searching light on the activities of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria especially as it has to do with award of contract.

However, as at the time of filing this report effort to reach out to the Public Relation officer of FAAN and prove abortive.

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