From Olumide Bajulaiye in Abuja
Ten months after Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, and Comptroller -General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. David Shikfu Parradang, disagreed over recruitments into the NIS, in which not less than 18 persons lost their lives, the duo are set for another bitter quarrel over some scandalous financial scam.
WESTERN POST’s investigation revealed that one Chief Superintendent of Immigrations, Ime Unaowo Nta, had fingered Parradang in a multi-million naira international passport scam.
It was gathered that thousands of Nigerians who applied for international passport were illegally charged N2, 000.
In a petition dated November 13, 2014 and forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Security (DSS), Inspector-General of Police, National Security Adviser and Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Nta had alleged that the contract was a shady deal between Parradang, some top NIS officers and Greater Washington Logistics Limited, the contractor for the job.
The contract entered into by Executive Vice-President of Greater Washington Logistics Limited, Mr. Owolabi Olusegun Awosan, for his company and David Shikfu Parradang, CG of NIS for the NIS, for Passport Delivery Services and Address Verification on the June 12, 2014, witnessed by S. G. Liman – Legal Adviser, NIS and Udeh Uluma Winifred, Senior Logistics Manager, has since been suspended by the Minister of Interior, Comrade Moro.
It was gathered that the suspension of the contract by Moro might have been as a result of the findings of Nta, who doubles as his Special Assistant on Immigration Service.
Nta, however, explained that his action is without any predisposition to anyone. Rather it was intended to expose the cabals in passport administration, and stop the continued fleecing of millions of naira from Nigerians who are charged compulsory, but illegal levy of N2,000.
He said he wanted relevant agencies to investigate the matter, apportion blames and punish those guilty.
He argued that the exposure of the deal, connecting one of his principals – the Comptroller-General of NIS, embarrassed Moro and President Goodluck Jonathan.
Investigations by our correspondent from the Corporate Affairs Commission, particularly as contained in Form CAC 7-102325, showed that Greater Washington Logistics Limited is owned by one Mr. Ebunoluwa Awosan and his wife – Perpetual Adenike Awosan, who are Directors with highest shares capital of 4,000 and 3,000 respectively.
They are said to be relatives of a retired Deputy Comptroller-General of the NIS.
Other directors named in the form include Titi Adebiyi, said to be wife of a Senior Special Assistant to the President; Hon. Titi Oseni, former Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly; and a cleric, Pastor Olaoye Ghandi. A resident Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God in the USA is also a director of the company.
Investigations showed that Moro and a majority of top officers of the NIS, especially the Passport Control Officers, did not know about the financial deal contracted by the CG and other top officers of NIS with Great Washington Logistics Limited until the scandal broke out in the media since there was no advertisement for the biddings.
WESTERN POST gathered that the Comptroller-General and the Service Legal Adviser entered into the contract without recourse to the Minister of Interior and the Ministry’s Legal Adviser.
Sources quoted the Minister as interpreting a reference letter NIS/HQ/CGIS/OPS /O43 dated February 13, 2014 and NIS/HQ/CGIS/OPS/043/155 dated October 8, 2014 to mean that the Service requested for an approval from him to allow the company make presentation on the Passport Delivery and Address Verification in the Ministry and not to enter into a binding contract with a compulsory levy of N2,000 on Nigerians.
It was gathered that from the compulsory levy of N2,000, less than N1,000 was remitted by NIS to Greater Washington Logistics Limited.
The Comptroller-General in a letter to the Minister had said the deal was between Greater Washington Logistics Limited and NIPOST/EMSSources.
Sources, however, revealed that the office of NSA, DSS and the Police have swung into action to identify the accounts used as well as trace the total amount, said to be over hundreds of millions of Naira fleeced from applicants.
It was gathered further that the contract did not adhere to due process and has attracted critical reactions since it was exposed.
Attempts to get the reaction of the CG, NIS failed as his aides claim he has nothing to say on the matter.