Yesterday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC said it arrested a former commissioner of Ebonyi state in connection with a fraud allegation involving Califco Group, a US-based construction company.
The EFCC alleged that Martin Elechi, the former governor of Ebonyi state is the prime suspect in the mismanagement of at least USD12 million via a contract awarded to Califco Group in 2012.
According to the EFCC, “The arrest was sequel to a petition by the Ebonyi State Government over a $12m contract to a US-based company, Califco Group, that had been abandoned since 2012, despite a mobilisation of USD10.8m already paid by Ebonyi State Government into the accounts of the said company.
“Investigation has revealed that both the Abuja and Ebonyi State addresses of the said company are fictitious. In the course of investigation, it was discovered that the former commissioner allegedly collected gratification from the company in the sum of NGN83m between July 30, 2012 and December 30, 2014, through his companies: Global Victory Allied Company and Mahco Mega Nigeria Limited”, the commission said.
Elechi will have to get his team of lawyers to defend himself in the ensuing legal onslaught. Ebonyi state was and is probably the poorest state in Nigeria.
Califco will have to explain it side of the story. The company has not issued any statement on the matter. According to its disclosure on its website, the company has ‘over 200 years of combined experience, with governmental agencies as well as numerous corporate clients in the United States of America and in Africa’.