July 9, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
One lawyer Elvis T. Elnoh, has raised serious concern over the illegal dentation of two Nigerians, his clients, at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters, for over 20 days, without obtaining complete statement from them.
According to news broadcast on the popular Radio Democracy 98.1 ‘Gud Morning Salone’ programme on Thursday, July 8th, the two contractors were reported by one Patrick John O’dwyer of the National Progressive Democrat, who also doubles as the chairman of the All Petroleum Products.
Patrick Oduwaya, who now manages the All Petroleum Products (APP), licenced to do oil business, shifted his support to President Bio during the run-off elections in 2018.
The two detainees have been in custody since June 14th to the 17th when they were removed on bail. They were arrested and detained again on Friday 18th June to date.
Report aired by the Local radio also indicated that another popular politician who serves as the deputy Minister of Justice, Umaru Napoleon Koromam, also has special interest in the said matter.
The report further stated that, while the Nigerians were granted bail from the 14th to the 17th of June when the deputy minister was out of the country, they were further arrested and detained after his arrival.
The minister denied the allegation and stated that the police were only performing their duty.
Meanwhile, the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Sierra Leone chapter, has written to the Nigerian Embassy in Sierra Leone, complaining about human rights violations meted against some Nigerian businessmen in Sierra Leone.
According to Napoleon Koroma,the said matter has nothing to do with the diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
In defence of his clients, Lawer Elnoh said his clients; Wallace Onuga and Godwin Okpako, were successfully carrying out the construction project when the APP Company started making several amendments that changed the initial plans and specification of the contract.
He further stated that his clients wrote several letters calling on their employers, the APP, to have round table discussions in order to take record of costings on additions made to the initial contract, and that all those letters fell on deaf ears.
In response to Lawyer Elnoh’s claim on radio 98.1, Mr. O’dwyer said his group, the All Petroleum Product, awarded a USSD 2.1 Million contract in 2020 with Ex-Checker Limited, a Nigerian Construction and Engineering Service group, to construct two P fuel stations- one at Levuma and the other at Jui, respectively.
O’dwyer further claimed that the two contractors were reported and taken to the CID because it was visible that the money used by the Nigerian contractors was far below the work done at the sites.
He further stated that as per the agreement in the contract, the contractors were given USSD 1.85 million instead of USSD 1.65 prior to the contract, and received their balance upon 100% completion of the work.
O’dwyer claimed that excess money was given to the contractors based on a mutual agreement that the contract would be completed before July, 2021, or else their contract will be terminated.
He claimed that he reported the matter to the CID based on an intelligence he received that the contractors were about to fly to Nigeria, challenging that there is nothing wrong in detaining the contractors for beyond thirty days.
Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, RPG Robert,said police were investigating the Nigerian contractors on allegation of non-completion of a contract for which they had collected over one million United States Dollars.