Former Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo and the incumbent, Solomon Dalung have washed their hands off a contract worth N182m said to have been awarded by the ministry in November 2013.
There are reports credited to the Committee on Public Petitions, House of Representatives that Dalung risked being arrested because he allegedly refused to appear before the committee to explain his role in the controversial after seven invitations were communicated to him.
The publication stated that the committee, chaired by Rep Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, PDP, Abia also summoned the ministry’s Permanent Secretary and Director of Procurement to appear alongside the minister to explain their roles in an alleged bribery scam involving a contractor, Solbec Ltd.
Danagogo, who handed over to Dalung after the President Goodluck Jonathan’s led PDP government was defeated in the general elections in 2015, said he knew nothing about the contract, just as Dalung, who is currently on medical vacation, denied receipt of any summon by the committee, as well as the said contract.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday from his base in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Danagogo said: “I did not award any contract throughout my tenure as sports minister. I got into office in 2014, and before I left in 2015, I couldn’t award any contract because I was waiting for the capital vote, which did not come. In any case, if any contractor is saying that somebody approached him for bribe of N182m, he should be bold enough to mention names. He should tell Nigerians whether it is the minister, Director General or a Director in the ministry that demanded such bribe. When I was leaving office in 2015, I minuted on all the contracts tendered before me advising that the process should be started all over by whoever took over from me.”
On his part, Dalung said through his Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze: “I have never been invited by the said NASS committee and never received any invitation from the Committee in respect of the allegations published.
“The contract was said to have been transacted between 27th, November 2013 and October 2015 by the then Ministry of Youth Development, while I took an oath of office in November 2015. I am not even aware of the said transactions as I don’t even know the contractor involved or even the company.
“I did not mandate anybody to collect anything from anybody and so, not in the position to defend it. The whole allegation is coming to me as a surprise because before proceeding on medical vacation, I cannot remember receiving such petition.”
The Minister however challenged the Committee to present proof of summon and copy of the petition.