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INVESTIGATION: How defeated Adamawa APC Guber candidate, Binani, awarded 7 seven unexecuted school projects to self

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INVESTIGATION: How defeated Adamawa APC Guber candidate, Binani, awarded 7 seven unexecuted school projects to self

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In outright violation of the procurement law, Platinumpost. ng in this investigation uncovers how UBEC in connivance with Senator Aisha Binani awarded multi-million-naira Adamawa state school projects to seven of her companies out of only one of these projects was executed,

Senator Binani and UBEC are yet to account for the remaining projects while funds have been paid to the companies.

All of these projects first appeared in the 2022 National budget. They were spread across the different federal agencies, however, UBEC as a commission under the Federal Ministry of Education made provision for seven key projects amounting to over N400 Million across Yola North Senatorial District, lobbied for by Senator Binani.

Senator Binani, was the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Adamawa state, North-East Nigeria, in the 2023 general election, she lost to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Fintri.

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As a Senator in the 9th Assembly, Binani, served as the Senate Committee Chairman on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where she influenced several projects in her capacity to her constituency, sadly, this investigation discovered that the projects were not executed, yet, been awarded to six of her companies.

BREAKDOWN OF PROJECTS

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) 2022 earmarked over a billion naira for

the construction, and rehabilitation of schools in Yola North senatorial district represented by Senator Bainani, these projects include, Provision of Furniture to Selected Boarding Schools in Yola at N212,500,000 million, and N102,000,000 million was also budgeted for the provision of Beds, Mattresses, Cupboards to Government Girls Secondary Schools in Yola.

Also, N238,000,000 million was budgeted for the provision of customized school Bags for selected primary school pupils across seven Local government Areas in Adamawa State, and N85,000,000 million was budgeted for the renovation of hostels in Government Girl Secondary Schools in Yola, while N25,500,000 million was budgeted for the construction of a block of two classrooms and an office at Farabaune Primary School Dong in Demsa Local Government Area Adamawa State.

Findings by platinumpost.ng revealed that these projects were distributed and awarded to these six companies, Binani Press Limited, Golden Crescent Limited, Infinity Telecommunication System, Mobgal Concept Limited, Bumy Global Resources Limited, and Binani Publishing Limited, While two of these company address is located in Abuja, four of the company address is located in Adamawa State.

Face Behind Companies and Financial Disbursement

Findings by this Newspaper on CAC revealed that Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani seems to appear as the Director of the six companies while other Directors of the companies include her family members. Payment records from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) made available through govspend.ng an open payment portal reveal how much each company was paid, the date of payment, and the payment description.

Binani Press Limited, a publishing company on the 28th December 2022, received N63,287,812.49 million to supply furniture (double bed (6 springs), chairs and desks, and exercise books to GSS Girei and GSS Song Boarding Schools.

A search conducted by platinumpost.ng on NG-Checks revealed that the company Binani Press Limited which operates from No 17 Atiku Abubakar Road Yola, has Senator Aishatu Dahiru and Hauwa Dahiru as the two directors of the company. Further checks by this reporter uncovered that Hauwa is the first daughter of the Binani.

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On the same date, UBEC paid N63,287,812.49 to Golden Crescent Limited, to supply provision of furniture (double bed (6 springs), chairs and desks, and exercise books to GMMC and Aliyu Mustafa College a Boarding School in Yola North. Aishatu Dahiru and Fatima Dahiru as Directors of the company, Fatima is the second daughter of the Senator.

Interestingly, Infinity Telecommunication System, a company registered as a telecommunication service provider revealed Aishatu Dahiru as one of the Directors, this Telecommunication was also paid N63,287,812.50 for the provision of furniture (double bed (6 springs), chairs and desks, and exercise books to GSS Fufore and GSSS Gombi LGA.

Mobgal Concept Limited a company with Binani as a sole Director was also paid N46,232,220.11 million for the provision of customized school bags to police children’s school Yola, command children school Yola, Nyibago, FAAN Primary Schools, and Gwadabawa Primary Schools, Jimeta Yola North.

Bumy Global Resources Limited on the 28th December 2022, was also paid N91,134,920.25 for the provision of beds, mattresses, and cupboards to Government Girls’ secondary school, Yola LGA, the directors of this company including Binani.

Binani Publishing Limited, located at No. 17 Atiku Abubakar Road Yola, a publishing company with no authorization for construction, was also paid N167,786,293.60 million for the renovation of nine blocks of two classrooms at Government Girls Secondary School, opposite Government House, Jimeta Yola North LGA, on the list of the Directors also include Binani.

While on the 31st of December 2022, which is the last day of the year UBEC paid Binani Nigeria Limited N136,073,749.08 for the construction and furnishing of the examination center (hall) at

GDSS Luggere, Jimeta in Yola North, a company owned by Binani and her children abandoned an unexecuted project despite payments made.

A visit by this Newspaper to Government Girl Secondary Schools in Yola uncovered how the renovation project of the girl’s hostel remained abandoned since January, this is after full

payment has been made to the contractor. While this contravenes the procurement law, the procurements always forbid contractors to be paid the total contract sum all at once.

Students of Government Girls Secondary School are now forced to squat in a dormitory is not enough to accommodate them, which further exposes them to other health risks.

Bilkisu Umar, who is the principal of the school described the abandonment of the project as discomforting and defacing the school.

“This is supposed to be a renovation project which is not supposed to take so much time because of the shortage of accommodation for our students, but here we are, since January they began the project it has been left abandoned with no work ongoing and no one is saying anything.”

Despite receiving N91,134,920.25 million for the provision of beds, mattresses, and cupboards to Government girl secondary school, Yola LGA, Bumy Global Resources Limited is yet to account for the funds after this Newspaper tracked that no such supply was ever made to the school.

Bilkisu Umar, the principal of government girl secondary school added, “Supply of such items can only be made if the project has been executed, completed, and handed over back to the school, we have not received a supply of any of such items.”

Also, in tracking the distribution of the N46,232,220.11 million school bag distribution projects awarded to Mobgal Concept Limited this Newspaper discovered no bag was ever distributed across the schools mentioned, yet, full payment was made to the contractor Mobgal Concept Limited.

Aliyu Danjuma, the Headmaster of FAAN Primary Schools expressed shock on hearing of the project, denying that the school did not benefit from such a project.

“It is not possible that bags will be distributed in the school and I will not be aware, we have had such gesture in the past but it was from UNICEF, and not from the agency or Binani,” he said.

While it was difficult for this reporter to access Police Children School due to its protocols, the Headmaster of Gwadabawa Primary Schools, Jimeta Yola North, Isa Ismail also deny receiving or having knowledge about the distribution of bags.

“I am just hearing of this for the first time, between January and now no one has distributed any kind of bags for our students, we are still hopeful they will come, let’s see what the outcome is: he said, the examination Hall Completed, but no furniture.

Out of the six projects on the budget list, the project for the construction and furnishing of examination center (hall) at GDSS Luggere, Jimeta in Yola North appears to be the only project that has been executed.

Sadly, Binani Nigeria Limited on the 31st December 2022 received N136,073,749.08 million for the construction and furnishing of the examination center (hall), while the physical structure looks complete, there is no furniture supply in the examination hall.

“Students cannot sit on the floor to write exams, what is the need for building an examination hall with no furniture, we are excited no doubt, but it is yet to be completed, if the project has a budget for that as you have said, then the Senator should mobilize for the supply of the furniture, Yunusa Abdulsalam, principal GDSS Luggere said.

Violation of several laws

These actions clearly violate the provisions of Nigeria’s Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

According to Section 5 of the code, “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities,” just as he or she shall not “engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession, or trade” as stated in Section 6 of the Act.

Platinumpost.ng also discovered that the companies had failed to file their yearly returns to the Federal Government in a blatant violation of the law, which led to the Corporate Affairs

Commission (CAC) designating them as “inactive”. Companies registered in Nigeria are required by law to file annual returns, which is a vital requirement. It enables the government to assess how firms competing for government contracts conduct their business.

According to Nigerian laws, all corporations must submit their annual returns to the CAC at least once a year. Companies that fail to comply are classified as “inactive” by virtue of sections 417 – 424 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.

Also, in violation of Section 14 of the Public Procurement Act of 2007, contracts were given to Binani Nigeria Limited and Binani Publishing Limited. According to Section 16(8)(d), a business is not eligible to participate in procurement processes or hold government contracts if it “is in arrears regarding payment of due taxes, charges, pensions, or social insurance

contributions, unless such bidders have obtained a lawful permit with respect to allowance, the deference of such outstanding payments or payment thereof in installments.”

Binani’s publishing company got contract awards for the renovation of classroom blocks and for the provision of beds, chairs, and books a clear violation of the procurement act. One would have expected the publishing company to handle publishing-related issues, but not Binani Publishing Limited. Lawmaker, UBEC declined to respond to PlatinumPost.ng reached out to Senator Binani.

However, calls placed on her phone number did not go through and messages sent to her number did not get any response as well.

Also, when presented with Platinumpost.ng findings, UBEC spokesperson, Blossom Ossom, said that the executive secretary would be best suited to respond to questions on the budget, costs, and implementation. Efforts made to get the executive secretary to comment were not successful.

Report and investigation done by Platinumpost.ng