Members of the adhoc committee of the House of Representatives on failed rail contracts have summoned the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, Seyi Sijuwade; former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Mohammed Bello Haliru; and former Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, to give account of their roles in the alleged N1 trillion rail contracts scam.
Ehoizuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, chairman of the committee, said they are to appear before the committee Tuesday, February 2. During the investigative hearing, he also said that all stakeholders had been duly informed and are expected to show up on Tuesday unfailingly.
He said the committee is in full support of President Buhari’s war against corruption. He also said the committee is not out to witch-hunt anybody but that anyone found guilty in the course of their investigation would be exposed.
“This 8th House is 100 per cent in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s crusade against any form of corruption. We are not out to witch-hunt anybody but anyone found wanting in the course of this investigative hearing will be adequately exposed although as you are aware, not until it is proven by a competent court that such persons are guilty you can’t say they are guilty.”
Agbonayinma said the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, was also summoned to tell the committee all he knows concerning the scam.
“The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, was also invited to tell us all he knows, though he just assumed office but you know government is a continuum,” he said.
Following an a motion raised by Rep. Solomon Ahwhiwawi (PDP Delta), the House of Representatives set up the adhoc committee in October 14, 2015 to probe contracts awarded for the rehabilitation of rail tracks, standard gauge, bridges, coaches, wagons and locomotives between 2010 and 2014 amounting to N1 trillion.
During the last hearing on December 10, former chairman of the NRC board, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, claimed that that no contract was awarded by the board he chaired during his tenure, stating that the Procurement Act excluded the NRC Board from participating in the award of railway contracts.
“The Board which I chaired, was never involved in any contract award and was never told or invited to participate in issues of contract award of financial disbursement.”