$6billion Mambilla Fraud: Nigerian Government Tells Court How Private Company Lured Ex-President Buhari’s Ministers With Women

Share this:

The Nigerian government made the detailed revelation in papers filed before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The Nigerian government has disclosed how the promoter of Sunrise Power and Transmission Company, Leno Adesanya, allegedly lured ministers in former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration with money and women in an attempt to secure favourable recommendations on the $6billion Mambilla hydroelectric power project.

The Nigerian government made the detailed revelation in papers filed before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

TheCable reports that in his motion on notice, former minister of power, attached documents in which the Nigerian government alleged that Adesanya offered money and women to ministers in the Muhammadu Buhari administration in trying to secure favourable recommendations on the $6 billion Mambilla hydroelectric power project.

Media had reported that the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the remand of a former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, in Kuje prison.

Agunloye, who served under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre by trial Justice Donatus Okorowo, after he was docked before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his alleged complicity in fraud.

The EFCC arraigned Agunloye before the court in January over allegations of fraud in the award of the contract in 2003.

The defendant, who had also served as a Minister of State for Defence, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court directed that he should remain in custody, pending the determination of his bail application.

On December 13, 2023, Agunloye was declared wanted by the anti-graft agency over alleged fraud.

Meanwhile, Sunrise is in arbitration with Nigeria at the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris, France, demanding $2.3billion in compensation for the country’s failure to honour the contract which was awarded by Agunloye, a day after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) asked Agunloye to step down the memo.

The Nigerian government is alleging fraud and corruption of public officials involved in the original contract award and also in the subsequent settlement agreements reached in an attempt to settle the dispute.

In the motion of notice dated February 26, 2024 and marked FCT/ABJ/CR/617/2023, Agunloye attached Nigeria’s defence at the arbitration wherein the country alleged that Adesanya made repeated attempts to exploit and fraudulently extract huge sums of money from the country “on false pretences”.

The document said that “Mr. Adesanya repeatedly sought to undermine Nigeria’s defence of this Arbitration by all means possible without regard to legality. As detailed below, Mr. Adesanya attempted to bribe the former Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, in the lead-up to the settlement meeting between Sunrise and Nigeria in London on 9 November 2019 by offering him money and women and sought to bribe the former Attorney General of Nigeria and Abubakar Malami, also with money and women, in order to take decisions favourable to Sunrise and influence Nigeria’s defence in this Arbitration.

“A look at the pictures of smiling young women whom Mr. Adesanya blithely offered to Mr. Adamu in November 2019 during the settlement discussions and latterly the Attorney General as inducements, can leave no doubt about Mr. Adesanya’s character.

“The below extract of Mr. Adesanya’s WhatsApp message to Mr. Malami with a picture of a woman in November 2021, when Mr. Adesanya was lobbying Nigeria is illustrative.”

The Nigerian government argued in the document that Adesanya is a man “who fully understands” how to game and take advantage of the weaknesses in the institutions of the Nigerian government.

According to the document, “He wrongfully procures contracts that his companies are incapable of performing, colludes with key Government officials to obtain confidential Government documents, creates a semblance of credibility through document exchanges with Government officials, files claims against the Government, and then unlawfully seeks to pressure the Government to enter into settlement agreements with his companies in order to obtain a pay-out.” 

Share this:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.