By Kenny EMMANUEL
A group under the aegis of Forum for Transparency and Good Governance (FTGG) has warned against linking the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, to an alleged N438.1 million consultancy contract scam since documents revealed that he resigned as a Director of New Planet Project Limited in 2019.
The alleged N438.1 million consultancy contract was between New Planet Project Limited and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation under the suspended Minister, Betta Edu.
The group argued further that linking the minister to the contract would amount to witch-hunting.
In a press statement signed by Dr. Mustapha Ahmed Malumfashi, the group said it is unfair and ridiculous to link the Minister to the alleged contact scam when he resigned from the company on 4th February 2019 after he won election into the House of Representatives with a Certified True Copy of Corporate Affairs Commission as far back as 2019 to prove this.
The statement further reads: “But Tunji-Ojo, who reacted while appearing on Channels TV Politics Today on Monday night, agreed he co-founded the company ten years ago, but resigned from directorship.
“The Minister, who described the report as shocking, did say he was not involved in the day-to-day running of New Planet Project Limited and all that is expected is to confirm the veracity of his claim.
“However, form our investigation, Tunji-Ojo, who in our estimation has been doing well since appointed as minister by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu didn’t benefit from Edu’s alleged fake N3 billion social register contracts.
“We have seen legitimate documents which showed that the interior minister resigned as a director at New Planet Project Limited nearly five years ago.
“Our investigation further revealed that New Planet Project Limited, with registration number 804833, was said to have been registered on March 3, 2009, with a Certified True Copy of the Corporate Affairs Commission documents obtained, dated August 8, the minister had alongside four others resigned as directors on February 1, 2019.
“Section A contained names of “directors ceasing to hold office” from February 1, 2019. They included Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Abimbola Tunji-Ojo, Okpanachi George Echiye, Idris Shuaibu, and Hassan Suleiman.
“The document was signed by Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo and Akinmulewo Amos Oladapo as Director and Director/Secretary/Authorised officer, respectively and it was further presented for filing at the CAC by one Abu Dennis, on February 6, 2019.
He confirmed during the interview with Channels that he co-founded the New Planet Project with his wife 15 years ago but resigned and remained a shareholder in the company.
“Of course, public service rules do not prohibit public officers from being shareholders. What public service rules say is that you cannot be a director of which I had resigned about five years ago.”
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended Edu over corruption allegations on Monday.
Shortly after Edu’s suspension, reports emerged that the Minister paid a company owned by the Minister of Interior a total amount of N438.1 million for consultancy services.