The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured a court order from Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court to block N116million belonging to the House of Representatives Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.
The money is contained in the accounts of five of the six companies owned by Ogor with which he secured contracts from some agencies as constituency projects.
EFCC is also looking into a payment of over N318million to two of the companies by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The probe followed a petition against the House leadership by the suspended Appropriation Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin on alleged padding of 2016 Budget and insertion of bogus constituency projects.
EFCC said its detectives discovered that Ogor has 30 accounts, including six (which had huge deposits) belonging to his companies, two dormant savings accounts and the rest personal.
The companies are: Laurelton Global Services Limited; Zanny Concern Limited; Racen Integrated Global Nigeria Limited; Simplified Concept Limited; Fergio Ventures Nigeria Limited; and Peanard Nigeria Limited.
Of the six companies, two, Simplified Concept Limited and Laurelton, have Ogor as a serving director.
The Nation reports that EFCC is now investigating abuse of office; awarding constituency projects to his companies; contract splitting being sole signatory to six accounts, which were not declared in his Asset Declaration Form; curious payment of over N318million into two of the accounts by the NDDC for undisclosed projects; and other allegations in Jibrin’s petition.
In his response, Leo Ogor said the allegations bordering on constituency projects amounted to non-issue.
He said: “If it is about Jibrin’s petition, is it not about budget padding? If they are investigating budget padding, what is the correlation between budget padding and constituency projects?
“Secondly, I’m not aware of anything but the fact remains that these constituency projects are awarded by these agencies and they go through public procurement process and the essential thing is to go to the constituency and see whether those projects are on ground or not. For me, that is non-issue.”
Asked that specific constituency projects for classrooms construction and equipment of library from UBEC were traced to his company, Ogor said: “What is wrong? Is there any law that says honourable members should not do a job? The most important thing is to see whether those jobs were done; I think that is the issue. If the contract was awarded to a company that has relationship with me, is the job done or not done? That is the issue. You don’t make an issue out of nothing.
“The fact is that a company is a separate entity; you must understand that in our law. So if the company has a relationship with me and the job was done, what is the problem with it?
“If the job is not done, you can make an issue of it, but if the job was done and met the business standards as attested to by the agency, then I don’t know what anybody is trying to talk about.
“Anyway whatever it is, if there is an issue, I will probably look at the issue and address it, but as far as I’m concerned, if a contract was awarded to anybody by an agency and the job is done to the satisfaction of the agency and the jobs are still on ground, except somebody is trying to give a dog a bad name for one specific reason or the other.
“if the job has been done and completed to the standards and it is still there for anybody to go and inspect and somebody wants to make an issue out of it, then let him or her go ahead and let’s hear whatever the issues are. To me, it’s a totally non-issue”.