Contractor Clears NEMA Staff against Bribery Allegation in Court

The trial of the chief maintenance officer of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji before Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court continued on September 25, 2019 with the presentation of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Mathew Bala, who told the court that the monies he transferred to the suspect, who was also in charge of fuel supply to NEMA’s generators were in appreciation of the agency’s staff who work under Deji.

The witness is the managing director of Rekinat Global Resources Limited, which had the contract to supply fuel to NEMA office.

Deji, arraigned in February 2019, is facing three-count charges from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC that border on official corruption. He is alleged to have received backhanders from Bala’s Rekinat Global Resources Limited which supplied fuel to NEMA, with EFCC’s investigation establishing that funds were found to have been paid into the defendant’s account from Rekina Global Resources Limited.

According to the witness, “sometime in late 2015 when the defendant took charge of NEMA’s Maintenance Department, I made a transfer from the company’s account, Rekinat Global Resources Limited, domiciled in FCMB to Deji’s personal account with Diamond bank to the tune of N592,000; another N615,000 was transferred to his account in 2016.”

He added that yet another N500,000 was transferred to the defendant’s account around May 2016 and another N617,000 towards the end of 2016.

As contractor who had been supplying 11,000 litres of diesel to NEMA since 2011, the witness told the court that the monetary transfers to the defendant were in appreciation of the staff of the agency who work with the defendant. “I sent it (money) to him as a thank you to his staff, to take care of his staff in the office,” the witness said.

During cross-examination by the defense counsel, Oluranti Oluwole, the witness told the court that one Peter Osema, one of the junior staffs in charge of the generator was sick and paralyzed and that NEMA made an appeal to staff and contractors to assist in taking care of his medical bills, saying specifically that the monies paid into the defendant’s account were for assistance to Peter by Rekinat Global Resources Ltd. He further disclosed that the defendant personally notified him of the condition of the sick staff and made a financial appeal to him on his behalf.

Explaining the role of the defendant as the staff in charge of the agency’s generators, the witness said the defendant sends in a request for the supply of diesel which then goes to agency’s Store and Audit Departments. According to him, when the diesel is supplied, it would be received by the Audit and Store Departments which will verify the quantity and quality of the product supplied before it will be handed over to defendant’s Maintenance Department.
The matter was adjourned to November 6, 2019 for continuation of trial.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity