The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared a former Minister of Energy and Steel, Olu Agunloye, wanted over an alleged $6 billion fraud.

Agunloye, a former minister of power under President Olusegun Obasanjo, was at the center of the $6 billion Mambilla hydropower contract controversy and was questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the case over the years.

The commission, through its official platform X (formerly Twitter), appealed to Nigerians to report Agunloye’s whereabouts to the nearest police station or notify the EFCC.

The EFCC stated:

  • Dr. U Agunloye is wanted by EFCC. Do you know his whereabouts? Please do not hesitate to inform the EFCC or the nearest Police Station.”

Backstory

Obasanjo accused Agunloye of mismanagement and inadequate information about the power project during his 1999-2003 tenure.

Obasanjo raised doubts over Agunloye's authority in awarding a $6 billion contract to Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd for the project in 2003, urging him to explain.

In his response, Agunloye said the nature of the initial contract for the Mambilla Power Project was awarded as a Build, Operate and Transfer contract in May 2003 under his supervision.

He said the government was not required to pay a kobo to Sunrise under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) agreement as it would be fully funded by the newly registered company, whose declared assets were worth less than $2,000 at the time.

However, Agunloye refrained from disclosing the details of the authorization he received to undertake a US$6 billion government project, especially noteworthy given Obasanjo's policy that limits ministerial approval to no more than N25 million.

Meanwhile, the EFCC questioned the former minister over the controversy and a questionable payment allegedly linked to his bank account.

The payment with the description “FRM LENO” was said to have been traced to his account after he committed the federal government to the disputed contract awarded to Sunrise Power Ltd promoted by Leno Adesanya.

However, further investigation by the EFCC appeared to show that Agunloye spent the money on shopping and transportation in Orlando, Florida in the United States and not on medical expenses.

The discovery of the bank transfers would have triggered another investigation dating back to the 2000s.


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