By Israel Bolaji
The Sokoto Zonal Office of the EFCC, has arrested two Chinese: Mr. Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Koi for offering a sum of N50,000,000 as bribe to its Zonal Head, Mr. Abdullahi Lawal. The suspects were arrested on Monday, May 11, 2020 in Sokoto.
In a statement, the agency confirmed to TheConscienceng that, “The bribe was allegedly offered in a desperate bid to compromise ongoing investigations of a construction company, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, handling contracts awarded by the Zamfara State Government in the sum of N50,000,000,000.00(Fifty Billion Naira) between 2012 to 2019.”
TheConscienceng authoritatively confirmed that the two Chinese suspects are indeed staff of the same Chinese construction company, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd. which was caught earlier in the year and banned for 18 months by African Development Bank for fraudulent misrepresentation.
“The zonal office of the Commission is currently investigating the construction company, in connection with the execution of contracts for the construction of township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa towns of Zamfara state; and also the construction of one hundred and sixty eight (168) solar- powered boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the state.
“Alarmed by the consistency and professionalism of investigation being conducted, the company reached out to Lawal with an offer of N100,000,000( One Hundred Million Naira) as bribe to “bury” the matter.
The agency confirmed that in a grand design to trap the corrupt officials, Lawal played along. On Monday, two representatives of the company Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi offered him cash totalling fifty million naira in their office along airport road, Sokoto. The cash was offered as a first installment.
The suspects were promptly arrested with the cash as an evidence.
Investigation of the construction company was informed by an intelligence on alleged conspiracy; misappropriation of public funds; embezzlement; official corruption; abuse of office, stealing and money laundering obtained against the Zamfara State government through inflated and uncompleted contracts awarded to the company.
Investigations have so far revealed that China Zounghao Ltd has received payments of over N41,000,000,000.00 (Forty One Billion Naira) from the Zamfara state government out of which about N16,000,000,000.00 (Sixteen Billion Naira) was allegedly diverted and traced to some bureau de change operators
The suspects would soon be charged to court.
Recall that TheConscienceng had published how the same Chinese company, China Zounghao Ltd was banned by the African Development Bank for 18 months over false declarations and misrepresentations in connection with the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Urban Project in Nigeria.
Efforts to speak to the China Zhonghao Nigeria Limited failed as an email and text messages sent to the Company’s official mobile number were not responded to as at press time.