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EFCC clears NPA boss over N13.7bn contract

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CONTRARY to the content of a petition it received, the Nigerian Ports Authority did no wrong in the award of a N13.67 billion contract, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The contract was for the dredging of the Escravos Channel, Delta Port in Warri, Delta State. It was awarded to Dredging International Services Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Dredging Environmental and Marine Engineering Group, Belgium.

The contract, which was awarded in 2017, has been a source of controversy, attracting investigations by the House of Representatives and the Bureau of Public Procurement following a petition by Cadrell Advocacy Centre, a non-governmental organisation.

The position of the EFCC is contained in a legal opinion written by EFCC’s Zainab Ettu and exclusively obtained by an online newspaper, Premium Times. The report, dated October 19 was endorsed by the commission’s Head of Legal and Prosecution Department, A.B.C Ozioko, and sent to the commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

Cadrell Advocacy Centre, in its petition, alleged that the NPA had awarded the said contract to Dredging International Services and Dredging International Services Cyprus, both subsidiaries of the DEME Group Belgium, said to have been convicted in Switzerland on May 2, 2012.

The group asserted that by awarding the contract to the convicted companies, NPA was in breach of the Procurement Law.

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