Dr. Doyin Okupe
Solicitor to the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, Yemi Gbonegun , has dismissed as false and malicious, reports in some dailies alleging that the companies which Okupe served as the chairman obtained rural road construction contracts from both Benue and Imo states governments in 2004 and 2005 and bolted away with the mobilisation fees.
Gbonegun equally said the issue had been thoroughly investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and no case of criminality or fraud was established against the companies.
In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, Gbonegun, who also confirmed that mobilisation fees were paid against presentations of bank guarantees submitted by the companies to cover the amounts in line with the demand of due process, said the companies never bolted away with any money.
“Contrary to reports in the media, on no account did any of the companies bolt away with any money and if they had, the state governments would have legally had recourse to the bank guarantees issued , held the banks accountable and recovered their monies.
‘’We confirm that in both contracts the company went far beyond the issue of mobilisation, in fact the companies received other payments over a period exceeding two years continuously for work done that went far beyond the level of mobilisation,’’ he said.
Okupe’s solicitor stressed that disputes about certificates of payments though arose in the matters of these contracts but not unusual between a contractor and its employers
‘’These issues were at different times thoroughly investigated by the EFCC .At no point in time was a case of Fraud or any criminality whatsoever found against any of the Companies, otherwise the EFCC would have since taken the matters to court.
‘’In the case of Imo State Government a settlement agreement out of court was reached while in Benue State both parties agreed to go in for arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the signed contract document.
‘’These are all civil and commercial matters not involving any form of fraud or criminality .Also the Contracts were awarded and executed by duly registered companies with the Corporate Affairs Commission, with a full complement of board directors including foreign nationals.
“None of the contracts were awarded to the person of Dr Doyin Okupe,’’ Gbonegun averred.