Benue Collins Amber diverts N16.9m FG contract funds
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Nigerian Concord Newspaper can authoritatively report how the head of the Bioresources Development Centre in Makurdi, Benue state, Mr. Collins Amber, diverted a whooping N16.920 million which was meant for a federal government building contract in the state into his brother-in-law company’s (SEDA Nigeria LTD) account.
According to investigation by this newspaper, the money was meant to erect some buildings inside the agency’s office which is close the the Nigerian Airforce Base in Makurdi, Benue state.
But findings show that Mr. Amber personally decided to pay the N16.920 million cheque into the FCMB account of SEDA Nigeria LTD on the 19th December, 2016. The SEDA Nigeria LTD FCMB account number is 1948219016.
SEDA Nigeria LTD which has its operational address at 15 Uyo Crescent Garki Area 11, Abuja belongs to one Mr. M. Osunkwo, a brother-in-law to Collins Amber.
SEDA Nigeria LTD which didn’t bid for the said contract had on the 31st October, 2013 faced a case of tax forgery instituted against its Director, Mr. Osunkwo, by the Federal Inland Revenue Services.
It was gathered that Mr.. Amber secretly lodged the N16.920million cheque into SEDA Nigeria LTD FCMB account for several months in order to get a huge turnover before transferring it into Waterfall Nigeria LTD account.
While speaking with our reporter on the allegation of funds diversion, Collins Amber agreed that he truly diverted the cheque into another company’s account but claimed that he was misled.
He however agreed that it was after the funds were illegally diverted into SEDA Nigeria LTD account by him that he later withdrew the cash and paid to another company, Waterfall Nigeria LTD, which is presently handling the project.
Findings showed that only N4m was paid to Waterfall Nigeria LTD since the time that the contract had been awarded but Mr. Amber is claiming to have paid over 95 percent of the total N16.920 million to the company.
Asked why there has been no development on the site despite that he claimed he had paid about 95 percent of the total N16.920 million to Waterfall Nigeria LTD, Amber who couldn’t explained this only promised to get back to our investigators.
However, the bank statement of how the funds were illegally paid into SEDA Nigeria Ltd and photo of the site which Amber claimed to have fully paid for are included in this report.
Also, the Benue Action Against has threatened to petition the EFCC and ICPC if the Federal government fails to sanction Collins Amber who has been bragging that he would be protected with the influence of his godmother, Mrs Comfort Achiata, who is a top official of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Abuja. A copy of the petition is being awaited as at the time of filing this report.