35 Transformers: Police detain, charge Kwara contractor to court

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Police have arrested and detained a contractor that reneged on a contractual agreement he had with the Kwara State Government to supply 35 transformers to the state after receiving N138m initial payment, according to various court and government sources.

The Ravens NG reports that the contract gone-sour has been a source of public debate over the past few months.

After the repeated failure of what sources confirm to be intense efforts to get the contractor to supply the transformers or return the public funds with 20 percent interest, the Ministries of Energy and Justice approached the police to investigate the allegations of misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and advanced fee fraud leveled against the contractor.

“Recall that the contractor had been arrested and detained some weeks back. He was granted bail after he was made to sign an undertaking to bring the transformers or return the money. But he defaulted. He was invited again on Tuesday and was detained. He was taken to a magistrate court in ilorin on Wednesday, yesterday, because police cannot detain him for more than 24 hours according to the constitution.

Another source, a lawyer, narrated the case as follows: “The Attorney General of Kwara State on 21st September, 2022 filed criminal complaint in the case of People of Kwara State v. Abass AbdulRazaq & Anor before Magistrate MD Dasuki, Magistrate Court sitting at Ilorin for the offences of Criminal Misappropriation, Criminal Breach of Trust and Advance Fee Fraud contrary to the provisions of Section 311 of Penal Code Law and Section 1 (3) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act.

“The 1st Defendant, Abass Abdulrazaq, was dragged to court along with his company, Best International Energy Services Ltd. as the 2nd Defendant.

“It is the Complainant’s case that sometimes in 2021, the Kwara State Government through Ministry of Energy awarded a contract to the aforementioned Abass Abdulrazaq through his company Best International Energy Services Ltd for the supply of 35 units of Beltransfo Electrical transformer with the payment of N138,258,750 as Mobilisation Fee. The Defendants promised to deliver the said transformers within 90 days after payment but failed to do so despite repeated demands by the Ministry of Energy. The Defendants made several undertakings to supply the aforementioned high quality Beltransfo transformers but failed.

“Police investigation revealed that the Defendants misrepresented facts and documents to show that he has the financial capability to execute the contract which, as it turned out, he does not possess. Furthermore, the accused persons have also failed to refund the contract sum of N138,258,750 entrusted to them for the purchase of the said electrical equipment.

“The 1st Defendant/Accused person, while in the dock, pleaded for his bail through his lawyer and he was admitted to bail on conditions of provision of two sureties, in which one of the sureties must be his relative not be below Grade Level 10 in government employment and that the sureties must depose to affidavit of means.”

The case has been adjourned to October 18, 2022 for further hearings.

It is not clear if the contractor has met the bail requirements as at the time of filing this report.

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