SSS arrests PHCN contractor over alleged attempt to defraud INEC

Johnbosco Agbakwuru

03 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Calabar — Operatives of State Security Service in Cross River State, weekend, arrested a licensed contractor with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in Calabar over alleged attempt to defraud the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of N200,000 as permission fee to facilitate installation of a newly-acquired transformer by the commission.

The licensed contractor by the Ministry of Power, a representative of Effanga Electrical Nigeria Limited, Chief E. E Akpanika, was arrested by officers of SSS on the orders INEC resident electoral commissioner for the state after collecting the sum to install the transformer acquired by INEC after being in darkness for about two years

The state office of INEC in Calabar had for two years, been in blackout due to bad transformer and efforts made by the commission for PHCN officials to replace the transformer did not yield any fruit, instead according to Igini, PHCN had through its actions sabotaged efforts to have new transformer.

Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Cross River State, Mr Mike Igini, said even when INEC decided to purchase a new 200/33KVA transformer, PHCN allegedly gave the commission a quotation of N4 million and some of the contractors sent gave a bill of N2.2m for the installation.

The PHCN staff, who latter installed the transformer, which the commission purchased at N900,000 including transportation expenses from Lagos, was allegedly harassed and haunted by some highly placed officials of PHCN.

Speaking to journalist shortly after the licensed electrical contractor was rounded up and taken away by men of SSS, Igini, said after personally procuring the transformer following outrageous quotations from registered PHCN contractors, installing the equipment became a major hurdle.

About the Author