Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The House of Representatives has directed the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, to produce the acting Director General of Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, Mr. Fabian Okonkwo, and the suspended Board Chairman of the Institute, Mr. Daniel Onjeh, over alleged procurement deception, staff victimisation and management crisis rocking the institute.
The Chairman of the Committee on Public Procurement, Hon. Nasir Ahmed, gave the directive during an investigative hearing held yesterday at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
The House had on February 10 resolved to investigate the alleged mismanagement of the institute, after a motion of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Henry Nwawuba.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to investigate the allegations by inviting Onu, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Director General of Bureau of Public Procurement and PRODA Management to appear before the committee.
Against this background, senior Staff of the agency billed to appear before the committee yesterday, failed to turn up for the hearing, a development which infuriated the committee.
The committee described the refusal of PRODA management to honour the invitation as insulting, adding that it was high time the parliament let the other agencies know that the National Assembly can’t be taken for granted.
Onu was represented at the hearing by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Edeth Akpan.
The Chairman of the Committee stated: “Before this investigative hearing, they have refused to appear. We gave them the benefit of th doubt. They are under your (ministry’s) supervision. Now, we are directing you; we are telling you, Mr Perm Sec; since they are under your supervision, go and bring PRODA here. Bring the acting DG that is under your supervision and bring the management and the board.
“Secondly, this person that you have confirmed to us, Comrade Daniel Onjeh, is not the Board Chairman of PRODA; now he has written a letter to the National Assembly using the letterhead of PRODA and signing as the board chairman of PRODA; PRODA is under your supervision, what we want you to do is report this case to the police and the relevant authorities that there is somebody that is impersonating, using a federal government agency to impersonate that he is the chairman. We do not know where this person will go tomorrow and say he is the chairman of PRODA and what crimes he will commit. So, we expect you to report to the relevant authorities and when you do that, we will like to see a copy of that report.”