Three former top officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority and a former special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan have been named in a massive foreign bribery scandal that has led to the conviction of a company and some of its top officials in Switzerland, PREMIUM TIMES can exclusively report today.
Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd was sentenced to a fine of one million Swiss Francs and asked to refund 36 million Swiss Francs illegal profit after it was indicted for allegedly making illicit payments to a former Managing Director of the NPA, Adebayo Sarumi; a former Managing Director of NPA’s Eastern Ports, Felix Ovbude; a former Executive Director of Finance at the NPA, Abba Murtala Mohammed; and Daniel Afam-Obi, a former executive assistant to Sullivan Akachukwu Nwankpo who was ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s special adviser on technical matters.
Investigators believe Mr. Afam-Obi acted on behalf of Mr. Nwankpo.
While Messrs Sarumi, Ovbude and Mohammed allegedly collectively received $2.6million in kickbacks, Mr. Afam-Obi was said to have been paid $157,000 for unknown reasons. Another $18million dollar was passed to companies in which some yet unknown Nigerian officials have interests.
Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd is part of a consortium which formed The Bonny Channel Management Limited that in turn entered into a joint venture arrangement with the NPA to form The Bonny Channel Company saddled with “creating and maintaining a safe navigational passage for all marine users to and in the Eastern Ports of Bonny Island, Onne, Okrika and Port-Harcourt”.
The NPA holds 60 per cent equity in the JVC while The Bonny Channel Management Limited consortium (comprising Dredging International, Vinci, IPEM and Dapesa Limited) has the remaining 40 per cent.