Two contractors have been quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in connection with the purchase of two vehicles by the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross Rivers state.
The two vehicles: a Coastal Bus was purchased for N49 million and a Toyota Hiace Ambulance was purchased for N62 million, whereas the actual cost for the two was below half the cost.
Most absurd was the discovery that the two contractors were the highest bidders and one of them was not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission hence not qualify for the contract awarded.
As it turned out, the vehicles, a Coastal Bus was purchased for N49 million while the Toyota Hiace Ambulance was purchased for N62 million.
The two contractors, Emmanuel Etta Nkin, who is the promoter of Basemark Construction Company Ltd and Anthony Okocha, promoter of Messrs Anchor Industrial Nigeria Ltd were arrested by operatives of the Commission following a petition by the Bureau of Public Procurement that the purchase of the vehicles did not follow due process.
Though the contract for the purchase of the vehicles were advertised by the Teaching Hospital, and several contractors bided for the contract, investigation by the Commission revealed that Basemark Construction Company Limited and Anchor Industrial Nigeria Limited were the least qualified for the contract.
For instance, Basemark Construction Company Limited had no evidence of Registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission submitted for the bid process.
Curiously, the two companies which submitted the highest bid of N62 million and N49 million got the contract ahead of other bidders with lesser amount.
Upon interrogation, Etta Nkin admitted that the Ambulance was purchased at the cost of N9 million and that he has been paid N59 million so far leaving a balance of N3 million.
Also, Anthony Okocha admitted that he purchased the Coastal Bus for N15 million and that he has been paid N24 million so far.
EFCC findings from the place of purchase of the vehicles shows that the Toyota Ambulance was purchased for N8.5 million while the Coastal Bus goes for N13 million .
Evidence at the disposal of the Commission showed that some high-level management officers Teaching Hospital may have compromised their position and would be questioned by the Commission soon.