BPE DG denies N27bn fraud •Alleged money used as insurance cover for staff

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The Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr Benjamin Dikki has denied existence of  N27billion fraud allegation by a former deputy director  of the privatisation agency Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim.

Mr Dikki in response to  a text message enquiry by Nigerian NewsDirect disclosed that there was nothing like N27bn fraud in BPE. He noted that the amount was used as insurance cover for staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria ( BPE) as a duty imposed by the Pension Act. “ We shall be making a press release to address either the ignorance of mischief of the author,” he assured.

In a report posted  online, Alhaji Kashim had alleged in a letter to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the agency paid N27 billion to non-existent staff of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Osinbajo chairs the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the agency that oversees the BPE.

According to the report, in a letter dated November 2 , Kashim claimed that BPE Director-General, Benjamin Dikki, allegedly asked him to raise a memo detailing how the N27 billion should be paid

He also spoke of how a former DG, Miss Bolanle Onagoruwa, was removed over her refusal to allow a lawyer with affiliation to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wind up the now defunct PHCN. “Your Excellency, the former DG, Miss Bolanle Onagoruwa, was removed partly because she refused to accept the appointment of a prominent PDP lawyer to wind up PHCN for an amount exceeding N1.5billion. (When the proposal was sent to her, I was one of the directors she confided in. As lawyers, we reckoned that it was unthinkable, moreso as all the assets of PHCN had been transferred through a presidential order to the Discos and Gencos, while all the liabilities were to be handled by Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NEMLCO). Immediately after her removal, the current DG established a committee that awarded the assignment to the preferred law firm. I publicly expressed my disagreement. The DG sent for me and solicited my support as it was from our bosses. I maintained my position, as a result of which the matter was never tabled at, or brought to the management committee for deliberation and approval before going to the NCP.

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