EXPOSED: Photos: To Retain Office CEO Bribes Tinubu’s Minister With Lexus SUV Worth Over N290Million

Estimated read time 9 min read

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Abdulaziz Ahmed Sule, has reportedly bought a 2023 Lexus LX 600 model for the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu.

 

CEO Bribes Tinubu’s Minister

The SUV was procured for 298,444,187.50k.

Sources said that Sule bought the vehicle from the internally generated revenue of the company to bribe the minister to ensure that President Bola Tinubu does not remove him from office.

Documents exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters show the vehicle with Chassis No. JTJPBACX6P4026917 was procured from Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited through a contract agreement dated January 17, 2024, under the heading “Procurement Of Vehicles For Management Staff (Lot 1&2)”.

A payment document with the heading “Payment Advice” shows that N261,103,961.25k was paid to Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited account domicile with Fidelity Bank from TCN account through the Central Bank of Nigeria on February 20, 2024, at exactly 09:05 am and with Ref No: 997617729.

The Batch Number is 15161 and the detailed description reads, “Payment for the supply and delivery of 1No Lexus LX 600 2023 Model for management staff lot 1 and 2.”

A letter from Kaura Motors to the Managing Director of TCN dated January 22, 2024 and with reference number KMNL/TCN/22012024/AI is titled: “Re: Procurement Of Vehicles For Management Staff (Lot 1&2). Request for payment.”

The letter signed by one Suleiman Umar for the Managing Director of Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited, reads, “We refer to your contract agreement dated 17th January 2024 for the Procurement of Vehicles for Management Staff (Lot 1&2) with a total contract value of N298,444,187.50k only.

“Find below our account details for payment as we have successfully supplied.”

CEO Bribes Tinubu’s Minister
Meanwhile, sources said that the vehicle was bought by the TCN Managing Director and CEO, Sule for Mr Adelabu as a bribe to ensure his position was safe.

“The MD/CEO of TCN Engr. Abdulaziz Ahmed Sule bought the vehicle from the internally generated revenue of TCN to bribe the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu to ensure that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not remove him from office.

“That was why when new Executive Directors were appointed for TCN by the president, the MD/CEO of TCN was not touched. This is pure corruption,” a source said.

When contacted the communication manager of TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, after listening to our inquiry, she asked for some time to get to her office. However, she did not answer subsequent calls from our reporter. Instead a media consultant who gave his name as Oyofo Sule called on behalf of the company.

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He admitted that the TCN managing director bought the vehicle for the minister but denied that it was a bribe.

He said, “Yes, he bought the vehicle for the minister. It is a normal thing and all the agencies and parastatals do it. There is nothing like bribery in the procurement. Other agencies buy vehicles for ministers and members of the National Assembly committee chairmen.”

It was reported in January that a document obtained from sources in the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) revealed that TCN MD/CEO, Sule, violated the Public Procurement Act, 2007 in N5,677,692,943.26 worth of contract award.

Also in November 2023, it was reported that Abdulaziz had allegedly been involved in violation of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 in the award of contracts running into billions of Naira, including contract splitting.

Sources had told SaharaReporters that most of the contracts the MD awarded under emergency procurement were not emergency in nature and that he awarded most of the contracts to his friends who pulled out the funds and remitted such to him.

Though when contacted, the company denied any wrongdoing, a document in which the BPP reviewed and responded to TCN’s request letter for “No Objection” for 285 contracts it awarded under emergency process showed that the Bureau refused to grant the request and clearly stated that the company violated the Procurement Act in 33 of the contracts.

The Bureau pointed out that the 33 contracts the TCN awarded under the emergency process were not qualified to be emergency, according to the provisions of Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

The document signed by Babatunde Kuye on behalf of the Director of the Bureau, read, “The Bureau observed that out of the 285 projects executed through the Emergency Procurement Method, 252 projects met the requirements for the adoption of the special method, while 33 projects should have been procured through other methods of procurements as indicated in the Table above.”

It further stated, “The Bureau’s consideration for the TCN’s request for approval for the Emergency procurement is mostly based on the reason that it was resolved at the strategic meeting held between the management of the Bureau and the TCN on 24th of May, 2022 that the TCN should avail the Bureau with the details of the projects that require accelerated procurement process (Emergency) in order to meet the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) requirements especially where there is the need to adopt the special methods in some of its procurement that require interactions with the infrastructure of other stakeholders in the sector.

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“Furthermore, the TCN at the meeting emphasized significant of the signing of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between it and the Distribution Companies (Discos) across the country on zero tolerance for outages amongst other things, which will negatively affect the reputation and revenue of TCN if these projects are not procured within reasonable time.

“The Bureau sees the absence of some of these critical works and supplies in TCN substations, Transmission Lines and other assets as a sign of inadequate provision of key components in the acquisition of its major infrastructure which could expose Government’s assets to danger/destruction

“In this light, BPP is obliged to consider the request and also ratify the 33 projects which ought not to have been procured through emergency procurement method as stated in Table 5.0 above.”

The Bureau had in the response document asked TCN to “officially make a request for these projects through Direct Procurement method and provide full status of the projects including payments made so far.

Tinubu’s Minister

“The Bureau reasons that proper needs assessment and planning would have provided the TCN the opportunity to identify the projects that require urgent attention, perhaps such situations would have been arrested through other special methods of procurement.”

“The BPP hopes that the TCN did not deliberately skew the scope of works and contract sums in such a way that not even one of the projects required MTB nor FEC approval.

“If this is found to be the case during the Bureau’s oversight, we will not hesitate to invoke severe sanctions on TCN management,” it also said.

The BPP warned that the “TCN’s attention is drawn to note that subsequent volume or stockpile of emergency procurements carried out by it without immediate submission of such for approval after the cessation of the emergency situation will not be considered by the Bureau”.

Reacting to the BPP report, TCN in a rejoinder by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, said the company did not violate the provisions of Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 as alleged by the BPP document.

The TCN spokesperson said, “In accordance with the request by Sahara Reporters quoting the document from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on alleged violations of some provisions of the law in the procurement process by the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), contrary to that allusion, no such thing has happened—at least not with the astute management in place at TCN.”

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She stressed that Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act 2007, states that “A procuring entity may for the purpose of this Act, carry out emergency procurement where the; (a) the country is either seriously threatened by or actually confronted with a disaster, catastrophe, war, insurrection or act of God. The condition or quality of goods, equipment, building, or publicly owned capital goods may seriously deteriorate unless action is urgently and necessarily taken to maintain them in their actual value or usefulness.”

According to the TCN spokesperson, “Under this condition, TCN can undertake emergency procurement of the projects.

“The process of management is difficult and sometimes requires extraordinary measures to put things in place. Nevertheless, it is pertinent to state at this juncture, that every contract awarded to remedy the perceived observations followed due process.

“The TCN management has in place Technical and Legal departments that scrutinizes all submissions along with the Procurement and Audit Departments; together, they ensure that regulations governing pre and actual qualifications are in place such as valid Company Profiles, Tax, and detailed status of relevant contractors.

“Under the circumstances, it is impossible for any underhand practice to take place, not to mention contravention of the rules.

“The management of the TCN is focused on delivery of its mandate and has never shied from this responsibility.

“However, in the course of meeting Nigeria’s dire electricity needs, the management is not averse to adopting some accelerated procurement process (Emergency procurement), where there is need to adopt special methods in the procurement of critical and very urgent infrastructure, that require interactions with that of other stakeholders in the sector.

“Furthermore, it is the determination of the TCN management never to complain but to discharge its duties with the highest level of competence and professionalism, especially with the significant signing of what is known as ‘Service Level Agreement’ between it and distribution companies (Discos) across the country on zero tolerance for outages amongst other things, to avoid tampering of the reputation and revenue of the company, if these projects are not procured within reasonable time.”

She further stated that it is important to understand that the management of electricity generation and distribution revolves around some kind of sensitivity which is open to professionals in the field and some stakeholders.

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