Rights group writes ICPC, demands probe of NASS’s IT dept

A civil society organization the Equity and Transparency Development Initiative, has written to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to, as a matter of urgency, probe how various companies were used to hijack and award sensitive contracts in the ICT department, to cronies of a top management staff of the country’s National Assembly, which breaches the NASS and the country’s security concerns.

In a petition to ICPC which was signed by Ijewa Zeb Obioma, the National Coordinator of the Equity and Transparency Development Initiative, and made available to media houses yesterday, accused the Clerk to the National Assembly, Arch. Amos O. Ojo, of using his office to engage two companies he has a strong interest in, namely Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited and Newtech Global Networks, without due process, to execute sensitive contracts in the IT department of the National Assembly, after laying off three other companies that were hitherto handling all IT jobs, on flimsy audit findings, sorely targeted to entrench his interest.

According to the rights group, “Newtech Global Networks was engaged to provide internet services at a sum total of N748,200,000 ( Seven hundred and forty-eight million, two hundred thousand Naira), while Sunnet Systems & Datacom Services Limited, was engaged as ICT Consultant & Network Infrastructure manager for the National Assembly Information Technology Department, at a contract sum of N206, 937,500.00(Two Hundred and Six Million, Nine Hundred Thirty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred Naira).”

The non-governmental organization further accused the clerk to the national assembly that he used “Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited, to undertake more hatchet jobs as a way of entrenching and cornering all the lucrative contracts in the ICT Department; this include witch-hunting and frustration of already established contractors, hitherto doing a marvelous work in the department.

“The most obvious of all these, as mentioned above, is the task of concluding all auditing process as started when he, (Arch. Amos O. Ojo) was Secretary, Procurement, Estate and Works. This task was essentially trusted on the hands of the newly engaged Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited which was primarily engaged to audit the ICT Department.
“Following a lay-down script, Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Limited went to work. When the result of assigned duty came out, the obvious targeted companies marked for elimination, were roundly indicted. These companies include the following: Navadee Integrated Nigeria Limited (Internet service Provider; Nanocom International Limited (Internet service Provider; Compsynet Innovative IT Solution and Services (ICT Consultancy and Network Infrastructure Maintenance and Helios Nigeria Limited (Managers of Enterprise Microsoft Applications)

“From the foregoing, as mentioned above, the sole purpose of this so called auditing exercise was to intentionally indict the aforementioned four companies. This so called indictment warranted the serving of the companies with disengagement letters”.

The group wondered how “the report of the so called audit exercise did not indict the third Internet Service Provider, NewTech Global Network ; a company, we found out, Arch. Amos O. Ojo brought into the National Assembly, for the purpose of collapsing the services of the other two ISP companies; namely Navadee Integrated Nigeria Limited and Nanocom International Limited.

“It is worth noting here that Arch. Amos O. Ojo spuriously used his office as the Clerk to the National Assembly, to merge the services hitherto rendered by the two ISP companies to that of NEWTECH Global Network, where we believe he has a strong interest”.

The group, therefore, asked ICPC to investigate how “how Newtech Global Networks was retained, as the only Internet Services Provider with huge contract sum, above other two Internet Service Providers (Navadee Integrated Nig. Ltd. and Nanocom International Ltd.) who were providing internet services to the National Assembly, but were ousted on the guise of auditing; how Compsynet Innovative IT Solution and Services, who hitherto was serving as both IT consultant to the National Assembly and NASS Enterprise Network infrastructure maintenance company, were audited by Sunnet and callously removed on flimsy excuses, so that Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited can take over all job details of Compsynet Innovative IT Solution and Services; how Sunnet Systems and Data Services Limited was chosen as sole IT company and an IT audit firm that determines who stays and who leaves, as IT Contractors and staff in the IT department”.

Other prayers include, “the role of Helios Nigeria Ltd. and its Chief Operating Officer Mr. Joseph Quaye, on the whole scenario and implications to the National Assembly and Nigeria security; to stop the current move by the Clerk to the National Assembly to handover all the sensitive information concerning the National Assembly to one man and his cronies in the guise of Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Ltd., who parades in job responsibilities as an IT Auditor, IT Consultant and NASS Enterprise Network infrastructure maintenance firm; to order for another independent staff audit aimed at ascertaining how the former staff of IT dept, who were erroneously laid-off and continuously being victimised by Sunnet Systems and Datacom Services Ltd. in the guise of staff auditing.

“And finally to use your good office to intervene and make sure that sensitive national and security information is not compromised by this team of persons who have succeeded in hijacking the entire IT infrastructure of NASS for sinister purposes that may be geared towards sabotaging the 2023 General Elections.”

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