Mr. Osuji admitted that he collected money in dollars and Naira on on behalf Mallam Nasir El Rufai but failed to hand the money over to El-Rufai. According to him, he was fired as a result. He asked the senators to help reinstate him to his previous post.
Members of the committee asked him how he expects to be reinstated when he had admitted to accepting bribe.
However, the current director General of BPE ,Bolanle Onagoruwa, said that nobody asked Mr. Osuji to collect bribe. Senator Baabfemi Ojodu then asked if there was a query given to Mr. Osuji before he was fired but there was none.
The ongoing hearing has revealed how the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo abused the process of privatization to the benefit of friends and cronies of the president. Already, Mr. Obasanjo was accused of selling Delta Steel Company to Global Infrastructure instead of the winner of the bidding process, BUA Group.
Also controversial businessman Jimoh Ibrahim once faced charges forgery regarding the manner he bought NICON at a give away price. NICON was worth N50 billion but was sold for N1.05 billion. Afterwards, Mr. Ibrahim used equity in the company borrow N41 billion from Union Bank PLC. Recently, Obasanjo began writing a weekly column in Ibrahim's newspaper, National Mirror In his appearance before the panel this week, Mallam Nasir El Rufai had accused Obasanjo of influencing the sales of government enterprises. He alleged that President Obasanjo and his deputy, Abubakar Atiku contacted him at several times to influence the sale of government companies to their cronies but that he turned them down each time.
“The president and I were always quarrelling over issues of privatisation,” Mallam El-Rufai said. “Each time I told him we have a process ... that they should advise their friends to be the highest bidder.”
Mallam El-Rufai said that the privatization program failed when Obasanjo ignored his recommendation and appointed a ‘cranky businessman’, Mr. Julius Bala as his successor. He said his successor was only interested in making money.
The Senate committee is investigating the sale of over 100 government enterprises.
By SaharaReporters, New York