CRFFN: Board Alleges N1.03bn Diversion, Forgery, Insubordination by Registrar/CEO

CRFFN: Board Alleges N1.03bn Diversion, Forgery, Insubordination by Registrar/CEO
Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barr. Samuel Nwakohu

 

 * Registrar abandons N343million Abuja head office contract part payment for over N800million Lekki property.
* Board, says” Nwakohu must go”   

 

The Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is increasingly becoming a cesspool of corruption with cases of diversion, mismanagement of funds and resources, a development which has elicited a series of written and verbal query from the Governing Council Board and ministry of transportation.

The Registrar was said to have gone emotional by weeping profusely in one of the Governing Council meetings in response to the barrage of questions coming from members.

The most unbelievable of the cases is the embarrassing incidence of diversion and warehousing of the total sum of N1,013,670,259 since 2021 by the management led by the Registrar, Barr Samuel Nwakohu.

Another case is the Registrar’s insistence to acquire a headquarters property of over N800 million at Lekki, Lagos against the advice of the Board, which had earlier approved the payment and acquisition of another headquarters property in Abuja for which contract had been awarded and the sum of N343,090,014.18 paid as 15 per cent mobilization fee and consultancy services paid to the contractor.

These alleged infractions had compelled the Governing Council Board of CRFFN to issue the Registrar queries on four different occasions and subsequently demanded his resignation.

Recall that as a protégé of the former Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Registrar had survived sack under Amaechi  in spite of the deluge of scandals associated with him .

Recall also that his case almost pitched Amaechi against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mrs. Magdalene Ajani, who had insisted the Registrar should go on the strength of the allegations he could not controvert.  Amaechi tactically, refused to reconstitute the Board of CRFFN after it tenure elapsed and allowed the Registrar to administer the Council unchallenged as a Sole Administrator for over a year to gain ground instead of sack.

In a new letter dated September 15,2022 addressed to the Registrar, Barr Samuel Nwakohu, the chairman of the Board, Dr. Abubakar Tsanni reminded him of his queries and demanded explanation on diverted funds, among others.

The letter titled, “Four Queries On Issues Of Alleged Falsification Of Certificates, Financial Misconduct, Misappropriation, Lack Of Due Process And Insubordination”, is a summary of all the unanswered queries given and all that had happened, raising the urgency for the Registrar to answer them with a choice to quit or they would be left with no option than to invoke their powers and sack him.

According to the query, the Chairman under the sub-heading, “Alleged Financial Misconduct, Misappropriation and Lack of Due Process” directed the CEO to submit evidence of the process, approval and source of funding the N109,000,000.00 expended on fictitious training which is above the approval limit without recourse to the Parastatal Tender Board(PTB) and the Governing Council of CRFFN.

The Chairman stated that the Registrar had disobeyed the lawful directive to suspend action on the purchase of the proposed CRFFN headquarter building at Lekki, Lagos and abandoned the headquarter project in Abuja where 15 per cent mobilization fee worth over N343milliin had been paid to the contractor. Saying,‘You are therefore directed to account for the money, the Chairman noted,“In a letter referenced CRFFN/CCR/VOL.1/007 paragraph f dated 7th July,2022, I drew your attention and expressed my displeasure.

 “Furthermore, at the end of the 27th Meeting of the Council held on 8th September,2022, you were also directed in a letter referenced CRFFN/CCR/CG/VOL.1/24 dated 25th August, 2022 to suspend further action on the purchase of the proposed another CRFFN headquarters building in Lekki, Lagos,” the query stated.

According to Tsanni,” However, you disobeyed the directive and obtained due process certificate of ‘No Objection’ from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) referenced BPP /S.1/VOL.XII/22/043 dated September 7, 2022. You are therefore directed to submit all the approvals received with sources for each stage of the processes undertaken”.

He accused Nwakohu of diverting and warehousing the over N1.03billion released in 2021 for the development and construction of CRFFN headquarter, adding, “You are directed to produce the legality of warehousing the fund since the appropriation of 2021 has elapsed”.

He re-accused Nwakohu of Falsification of certificates, saying, “Sequel to doubts surrounding your certificates, you are to forward to the undersigned(Chairman)with detailed explanation, the original copy each of your: Call to Bar Certificate; Bachelor of Art in Law Certificate; affidavit of loss of certificate; police extract on loss of all the certificates; Leaving and Secondary School testimonials; and any document(s) that will assist in this matter”.

Tsanni recalled that there was a petition written by five management members of staff of the Council against the Registrar dated 25th August, 2022, reminding him that the Governing Council had raised a 5-man Ad-hoc Committee that investigated and submitted a report dated September 28th, 2020. The report was forwarded to the Ministry since the Governing Council then had one month to the end of its tenure which ended on 30th October, 2020, and

consequently, the Ministry set up a 6-man Committee to review the report.

Conversely, the management has alleged that the Governing Council members demanded N150 million to grant approval for the Lekki office. The source however could not back up the allegation with any document.

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