Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A social crusader group, the Grassroots Movement Against Corruption (GMAC), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the National Security Adviser and Directorate of State Security (DSS) to beam their searchlights on the alleged $2 billion corruption scandal in the award of OPL 245 Zabazaba Agip/Shell JV Project.
The group in an open letter to the President accused Agip and Shell of planning to work against the re-election of President Buhari in 2019, saying that the two companies have no reason to award the OPL 245 Zabazaba Project to Bumi Armada Berhad (BAB), the highest bidder for the job.
According to the group its findings revealed that Agip and Shell have perfected plans to award the contract to Bumi Armada Berhad that bided highest as against Bluewater/ Saipem.
It stated that while Bluewater / Saipem bidded for 5, 426,500,714 USD (98%), Bumi Armada Berhad bidded 7, 622,412,019 USD (134%) and 7, 630,575,309 USD (135%).
The group stated that the investigation became imperative so that the anti-corruption war of the government would not be rubbished.
The open letter signed by its President – Alwai Mohammed Haku; Secretary – Hon. Bode Aremu and Public Relations Officer – Comrade Ebi Tutu said their call for investigation is borne out of concern.
The letter read in part “The corruption scandal of $2 billion if allowed to see the light of the day will dent the image of the administration of Mr. President and it will be an international disgrace to the Nigerian Government.
“The two oil companies are out to use the difference of the award amount ($2 Billion) to fund the 2019 election against the President.
“The two companies must be questioned on why they are giving the job to the highest bidder. People around the President should investigate this wide scale fraud because it is a big embarrassment to the Nigerian Government.
“These two oil giants are out to sponsor the 2019 election against the President with the extra $2 billion.
“This sudden change of the award of the contract by the two companies to the highest bidder should not be tolerated. Those at the helm of affairs of these companies must be brought to book.
“Those around the President, if they love him and wants him to succeed in his fight against corruption must act fast to investigate the activities of the two companies regarding the award of the Zabazaba Project.
“Those to carry out the investigation may not necessarily wait for a directive from the President before they act, delay on the matter should be avoided because the two companies are very smart and so they must be investigated quickly”.