Contract Scandal: Shehu Sani Defends Tunji-Ojo, Says He Violated No Law

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Amidst the ongoing criticism directed at the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, accused of using his office to secure a project for a company, New Planet Project Limited, which he founded, former Kaduna Central Lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, has come to his defence.
Sani argues that the minister has not violated any law by being a shareholder in the mentioned company.
In a message posted on his Facebook page, Sani said that the minister has the right to hold shares in the company, as there is no law that prohibits public officials from holding shares.
His post read, in part, “Going by the facts presented by Hon Tunji-Ojo Ojo, he had since 2019 resigned from the company mentioned as beneficiary. It could have been a conflict of interest if he had not resigned.”
Sani said that there is no law mandating public officials to sell their shares when assuming public office. Moreover, as it is not Tunji-Ojo’s ministry, companies have the right to pursue business anywhere. Sani differentiates Tunji-Ojo’s case from that of Betta Edu, stating that legally, Tunji-Ojo cannot be held accountable in this matter.
Referring to section 030424(a) of the civil service rules, Sani highlighted that “public officers are not prohibited from holding shares in both public and private companies operating in Nigeria or abroad, except that they must not be directors in private companies and may only be directors in public companies if nominated by the government.”
Tunji-Ojo faced scrutiny following the controversy surrounding the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu’s financial misappropriation. A leaked document revealed that New Planet Project Limited, a company founded by Tunji-Ojo, secured a N438 million consultancy contract from the ministry. In response, Tunji-Ojo denied any wrongdoing, asserting that he resigned his directorship in the company in February 2019 when elected as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.

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