N635m scam: Benue State Govt drags Doyin Okupe to EFCC

Benue State Commissioner of Works and Transport Benjamin Ashaver says President Goodluck Jonathan’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs Doyin Okupe has been reported to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the recovery of the mobilization fees for contract that his company failed to execute properly for the state government. 

Ashaver, who made documents available to journalists as regards the contract at his office in Makurdi yesterday, said the presidential aide’s firm is yet to return over N635.7 million to Benue government on the “shoddy job” done eight years ago.

“Due to non-performance, the contractors were reported to the EFCC for the recovery of balance on the advance payment of N635,782,844.97 due to Benue State government”, he said.

He said former governor George Akume awarded the contract to Okupe’s company, Value Trust Investment Limited, for construction of 230km rural roads on April 21, 2004 at the cost of N2,303,561,032.50 using Romix Soil Stabilization.

The government at that time made a 30 percent advance payment of N691,068,309.75 to the contractor to commence work and by July 17, 2006, the total amount paid to the contracting company stood at N886,867,913.18, he said.

Although the project was expected to be completed within 18-months, that dream was never realized as the amount of work performed was later estimated at N195,799,603.43 before the contractor was alleged to have absconded, the commissioner also said.

Efforts made by the Akume’s administration to recover the money from the contractor’s bankers, according to him, yielded to the tune of N55,285,464.78 being part of the advance payment, while the amount standing against the contractors from the advance payment was put at N691,068,309.75.

Okupe owns the majority shares in Value Trust Investment Limited, the company that handled the Benue rural road contract.

Details of the company’s registration that was obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) indicated that the company which was registered on July 3, 1989 with registration number 133792 has 5,000,000 shares capital.

Doyin Okupe owns 3,000,000 shares while Lola Okupe, Lekan Adebayo and Iian Salma has 1,000,000; 500,000 and 500,000 shares respectively.

The nature of business of the company as registered with the CAC is “to enter arrangement with companies, firms and persons for promoting and increasing to manufacture, sale, purchase and maintenance of goods etc.”