Offences and Penalties for Violations under the Public Procurement Commission Law of Benue State 2020: Issues, Views and Perspectives

By

Joseph J Kur, PhD

1.1      Introduction

The Executive Governor of Benue State signed into law, the ‘Public Procurement Commission Law of Benue State 2020[1]. The enacted PPCLBS came into force on the 6th Day of August, 2020. The Law like its precursor, The Public Procurement Act 2007, has fundamentally, altered the landscape of procurement of Goods, Works and Services by all tiers of government namely, the Federal Government and her Agencies, the State Government and all procuring entities and the Local Governments that share from the Consolidated Revenue Funds under the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 (as amended). The Public Procurement Commission Law of Benue State (PPCLBS) like its precursor has introduced novel and new conditions, procedures and methods of contract awards (otherwise known as procurement) and government property disposals with grave criminal consequences when acted in defiance of same. The merits of public procurement practice drive is that, it has done away with the extant financial regulations on procurement based on Ministry of Finances’ Memos, Circulars and Directives that hitherto existed. It is aimed at ensuring due process and accountability, value for money in all government acquisition, integrity and impartiality in public procurement process, elimination of corruption chain, transparency in public spending and expenditures. The law has created previously non existing offences and penalties of procurement with grave strict liability consequences for public officers, bidders, contractors, natural and artificial persons. Under the established law, a Commission is mandated to enforce compliance and liaise with relevant institutions for the effective enforcement of the letters of the law. How effective has it been with the ante dent newness of the law and its penal consequences on public officers, civil servants, bidders, contractors as well as artificial persons?  In evaluating the concept of offence(s) within the context of procurement, the paper will present an overview of public sector procurement in Nigeria; identify corrupt practices in procurement processes and applicable penal sanctions within the ambit of the Public Procurement Commission Law of Benue State. The paper will reference where applicable, the Public Procurement Act 2007 and other similar laws of other states in Nigeria, make analysis of the available case law as decided by the courts in Nigeria.

The paper has equally examined the implications of the law on the third tier of government, particularly, the 23 Local Government Councils in Benue State namely, Ado, Agatu, Apa, Buruku, Gboko, Guma, Gwer-East, Gwer-West, Katsina-Ala, Konshisha, Kwande, Logo, Makurdi, Obi, Ogbadibo, Ohimini, Oju, Okpokwu, Otukpo, Tarka, Ukum,Ushongo and Vandeikya as they draw and share from the Federation’s Consolidated Revenue Funds through the special account called “State Joint Local Government Account” under Section 162(6) of the CFRN 1999 (as amended). The paper also sojourns on the effect of the law on the Benue State House of Assembly and the Benue State Judiciary as independent arms of government that draws substantially their funds from the federation Revenue Funds. Key concept discussions will be the terms ‘offence (s)’, ‘penalty (ties)’, ‘violator(s)’, ‘corruption’, and ‘procurement’ in the context of public procurement.

2.1 Conceptualisation of Terms

2.1.1   Offence(s)

The word ‘offences’ is capture under part XII covering Sections 60(1)-(9) of the PPCL[2] and yet is not defined and not captured by part 1 covering the portions of section 2 of the PPCL titled ‘definition’. Recourse and voyage of same has to be taken elsewhere. Section 2 of the Criminal Code[3] provides that, “An act or omission which renders the person doing the act or omission liable to punishment under the code, or under any act or law is called an Offence”. Under the Penal Code[4], section 28 provides that, “Except where otherwise appears from the context, the word “offence” include an offence under any law for the time being in force”. Under the constitution[5], Section 36(12) provides that, “Subject as otherwise provided in this constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty thereof is prescribed in a written law”. The same section provides that, “in this section, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State, any subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of a law”.

Passionately, offences provided under the PPCL of Benue State are legal and valid and has complied with constitutional requirements. The law has defined what constitute an offence of procurement and procurement processes under Section 60 (3)(i-vii) and (4)-(9), the penalties therein provided and the written law itself is the PPCL validly passed by the Benue State House of Assembly and duly assented to by the Governor of Benue State and properly gazetted  as Benue State Gazette No.35 vol.45, 27th August, 2020. A cursory look at the PPCL, it contains and criminalises certain acts and conducts through the description of words like, contract padding, kickback, splitting of tenders, bid rigging, forgery, alteration, alternation etcetera.

2.1.2 Penalty(ties)

The term penalty is defined to mean a punishment imposed for breaking a law, rule or contract. Penalty and punishment do go together hence Black[6]  defines punishment as any fine, penalty or conferment inflicted upon a person by authority of the law and the judgement and sentence of the court, for some crime or offence committed by him or for his omission of a duty enjoined by law. Professor Samba has argued, purposefully that, this definition, specifically excludes civil penalties redounding to the benefit of an individual. This appears the reason why many limit the burden of punishment to the ambit of the criminal law whose main objective is to penalize and deter offenders in an attempt to eliminate crime from society.[7] This argument appears persuasive in that, the PPCL aside from providing offences equally, provide for remedial or administrative review where there exist omission or breach is alleged by a complainant against a procuring entity by the Commission under Sections 55-56.  Deductive from the foregoing, the word offence and crime in legal jurisprudence are used to denote the same result as referring to a prohibited consequence that attract penal consequences and would in this context be used interchangeably.

2.1.3 Meaning of Procurement and its nexus with Procurement

The PPCL simply defines procurement as ‘acquisition’. This definition is unhelpful to a casual reader. The parent federal law, the Public Procurement Act 2007 equally defines ‘procurement’ simply as ‘acquisition’. The PPCL has expanded the definition ‘procurement’ simpliciter when it defined ‘Public Procurement’[8] to mean, the acquisition by any means of goods, works and services by the government. Transparency International[9] amplifies the meaning of procurement as the acquisition of consumption or investment, goods or services. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)[10], describes procurement as the process of identifying what is needed, determining who is the best person or organization to supply these needs, and ensuring that what is needed is delivered to the right place, at the right time, for the best price and that all of this is done in a fair and open manner.

The World Bank refers to public procurement as the acquisition of goods, services and works by a procuring entity using public funds. Deductively, Procurement may mean a way government (either, Federal, State or Local) purchase products or services from private vendors. These can be something tangible such as computers, motor cars, drugs etcetera or works construction or purchase of something intangible, such as consulting services or technology development.  Public Sector procurement is at the heart of delivering services to the citizenry and involves the management of huge financial resources.  Sound public procurement policies and practices are essential elements of good governance as they ensure the efficient and effective utilization of scarce resources to meet the needs of the people while poor policies and practices create room for corruption, wastage and sabotage of government’s good intentions.

2.14 The concept of Corruption and its Nexus with Procurement

The concept of corruption is a noun from a verb of the word corrupt which means dishonest, accepting bribes, immoral, wicked, and decaying. Black laws Dictionary defines corruption as “depravity, perversion, or faint, an impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle, the impairment of a public official’s duties by bribery”. The act of doing something with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others, a fiduciary or official use of a station or office to procure some benefit either personally or for someone else contrary to the rights of others. Bairaman J. in Bioraku V. Police[11] defined corruption as: The receiving of a benefit or reward or inducement to sway or defect the receiver from the honest and impartial discharge of his duties.

The nature of corruption is surreptitious and so it can only be identified in terms of its ingredient, scope and character. Adeyemi[12] conceding to surreptitious nature of corruption and the problem of exact definition observed, “You can only measure what you can express in numbers otherwise your knowledge can be conveniently described as unsatisfactory”. Olusoga defines corruption as “the gain of money, materials/financial resources, contract, employment, status, fame, power or physiological (physiological satisfaction through illegal and or immoral practices such as bribery, fraud, abuse or office robbery etc.)”. Oyebode defines corruption as  “undue advantage, abuse of office, undeserved favour obtained through manipulation of rules or status; any untoward conduct occasioned by grant or promise of same”. While Gboyega[13], argues that, corruption is any discussion, act or conduct that subverts the integrity of people in authority or institution charged with promoting, defending or sustaining the democratization process, thereby undermining its effectiveness in performing its services assigned role.

The corrupt practices and other related offence act defining corruption to include bribery, fraud and other related offences. Corruption no doubt is any dishonest conduct expressed through the manipulation of proper norms for selfish interest and at the expense of public good. It is not a phenomenon common to public officers only as corruption can be found in any strata of society. The World Bank has defined corruption as when: “public office is abused for private gain, when an official accepts, solicits or extorts a bribe. It is also abused when private agents actively offer bribes to circumvent public policies and processes for competitive advantage and profit. Public office can also be abused for personal benefit even if no bribery occurs through patronage and nepotism, the theft of state assets or the diversion of state revenue”. The Vision 2010 Committee explains Corruption as: ‘all those improper actions or transactions aimed at changing the normal course of events, judgment and position of trust’.

2.2 Corruption and Procurement Process

There exist factual nexus between corruption and procurement that undermine the procurement integrity processes. Corruption in the procurement process therefore has a serious negative impact on the development and well-being of a nation because outside of salaries and social benefits, procurement accounts for the largest share of public expenditure at all tiers of government.[14]  The enormous amounts of money involved in procurement present an almost irresistible lure for corrupt practice because of the tremendous opportunity for bribes, kickbacks and other payoffs.  Corruption in procurement oftentimes involves a network of persons. The following is a typical example of a chain of corruption in project contract awards:[15]

 

  1. a) Project Conception – Contractor influences project to suit him
  2. b) Project Design    – Consultant over-designs or designs to suit a particular product or contractor’s technology
  3. c) Project admitted into National Budget – Contractors/consultants lobby legislative assembly to over – appropriate funds
  4. d) Project Implementation – Consultant manipulate figures/documents/process to suit pre-arranged outcome usually with the connivance of the MDA
  5. e) Project Execution  – Contractor delivers poor quality job, consultant looks the other way, quantity overstated. Consultants/contractor/MDA collude
  6. f) Project Completion –   Auditor admitted into the chain. Auditor confirms project completed.
  7. g) Outcome: (corruption) – Consultant, contractor, MDA, all happy, project delivered at high cost when good poor quality of work, value for money lost, COUNTRY LOSES

 

At the procurement stages, sharp practices such as collusive Agreements whether successful or not with suppliers, contractors or service providers in respect of tender bids, proposals or quotations, altering any procurement document, bribery, kick-back, inflated costs, bid-rigging etcetera also occur at micro levels of procurement; these and the afore-painted macro scenario play out in Nigeria as well as several countries around the globe where the procurement environment is porous, leading to gargantuan costs without corresponding value, inefficient service delivery and huge indebtedness.

3.1 OFFENCES AND SANCTIONS UNDER THE CORRUPT PRACTICES AND OTHER RELATED OFFENCES ACT 2000

The Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 was signed into law on 13th June 2000, establishing the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and empowering it to carry out enforcement, prevention and education against corruption.  The Act 2000 specifies offences of corruption and corresponding sanctions.  Almost all these offences relate in one way or the other to the procurement function, a sample of which would is given below:[16]

Section Offence Punishment in Jail Terms/ Fine
8 Accepting gratification by an official 7 Years
8(2) Giving or accepting gratification through an Agent 7 Years
9 Corrupt offers to public officers 7 Years
10 Corrupt demands by person(s) 7 Years
Section Offence Punishment in Jail Terms/ Fine
12 Holding private interest in a contract or investment connected with the office of a public officer

 

7 Years
15 Deliberate frustration of investigation by the Commission 7 Years
16 Making false statements or returns in respect of money or property received 7 Years
18 Bribery of public officers in relation to voting or performance of duty 5 Years with hard labour
19 Using office or position to gratify or confer unfair advantage on oneself, relation or associate 5 Years without option of fine
21 Bribery in relation to auctions 3 Years
22(3) Inflation of the price of goods and services 7 Years and N1 million fine

 

22(4) Award of contract without budget provision, approval and cash backing 3 Years and N100,000 fine
22(5) Transferring money from one vote to another (Virement) 1 Years or N50,000 fine

Source of Table is culled from Rasheedat A Okoduwa

4.1 Offences and Penalties Relating to Procurement under the Public Procurement Commission Law of Benue State

The Law on procurement contains provisions for sanctions mechanism which seeks to make its implementation effective. The category of persons who may be liable for offences under the law are , public officers, bidders, contractors, natural and artificial persons.

Section 60(1) of the law creates an offence and penalty for “any persons” not being a ‘public officer’[17] in the services of Benue State Government. This section covers persons who may not be public servant but would include parties such as supplier, contractor or service provider, who have become particeps criminis (partner in crime)  in the crime. The section provides for a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 10 years without an option of fine. The Section provides:

“Any person not being a public officer who contravenes any provision of this Law commits an offence and is liable on conviction to term of imprisonment not less than five (5) years but not exceeding ten (10) years without an option of fine”. The import of the foregoing sentencing process is that, the court will at this stage take measures for criminal wrongdoers conduct and impose upon them sanctions in accordance with the law (and in this case without an option of discretion) for the purpose to protect the society from the dangerous action of an offender, to assist as much as possible the victims of a crime, to reform the offender and to prevent other people from criminal activity.  Section 60(2) provides for the jurisdiction of court capable of trying the offence under the Procurement proceedings. The section provides: “Any offence in contravention of this Law shall be tried by the High Court”.

Section 60(3) creates and provide a plethora of offences ostensibly that may be committed by a Public Officer[18] in the course of public procurement, procurement proceedings and or acquisition. The Section provides that: the following shall also constitute offences under this Law-

  • entering or attempting to enter into a collusive agreement, whether enforceable or not, with a supplier, contractor or service provider where the prices quoted in their respective tenders, proposals or quotations are or would be higher than would have been the case has there not been collusion between the persons concerned;
  • to conduct or attempt to conduct procurement fraud by means of fraudulent and corrupt acts, promises, threats, unlawful influence, undue interest, agreement, favour, bribery or other actions;
  • directly or indirectly attempting to influence in any manner the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract;
  • splitting of tenders to enable the evasion of monetary thresholds set;
  • altering any procurement document with intent to influence the outcome of a tender proceedings;
  • uttering or using fake documents or encouraging their use; and
  • wilful refusal to allow the Commission or its officers to have access to any procurement records.

(4)        Any person whilst carrying out his duties as an officer of the Commission, or any procuring entity, who contravenes any provision of this Law commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a cumulative punishment of-

  • a term of imprisonment of five (5) years without any option of fine and
  • Summary dismissal from government services.

 

(5)        Any legal person that contravenes any provision of this Law commits an offence and liable on conviction to a cumulative penalty of-

  • debarment from all public procurement for a period not less than five (5) years;
  • a fine equivalent to 25% value of the procurement in issue.

 

(6)        Where any legal person shall be convicted pursuant to subsection (5), every Director of the Company as listed on its records at the Corporate Affairs Commission shall be guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not less than three (3) years but not exceeding five (5) years without an option of fine.

(7)        An alteration pursuant to subsection 3(f) shall include-

  • insertion of documents such as bid security or tax clearance certificate which were not submitted at bid opening; and
  • request for clarification in a manner not permitted under this Law.

(8)        Collusion shall be presumed from a set of facts from which it can be assumed that there was an understanding, implicit, formal or informal, overt or covert under which each person involved reasonably expected that the other would adopt a particular course of action which would interfere with the faithful and proper application of the provisions of this Law.

(9)        Bid rigging pursuant to subsection (3)(e) of this Section means, an agreement between persons whereby-

  • offers submitted have been pre-arranged between them; or
  • their conduct has had the effect of directly or indirectly restricting free and open competition, distorting the competitiveness of the procurement process and leading to an escalation or increase in costs or loss of value to the State Treasury.

A summation of these offences include, entering or attempting to enter into a collusive agreement for the increasing of prices of goods, services or construction; conducting procurement fraud through undue influence, interest favour, bribery and corruption; contract splitting; unduly influencing procurement proceedings; bid rigging; uttering  and using fake documentations; altering documentation with intent to influence proceedings, etcetera. The offences may be discovered through procurement surveillance and review by the Commission under Section 8(1) PPCL thereof, as well as under the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) or it could be discovered during administrative review proceedings.

 

4.2 Consequential Evaluations of the Criminalisation of Conducts Prohibited by the Law

 

Law as a regulator of social norms determine in advance the implication of prohibited and permissible conducts within the reign of legislative competences as does the PPCL of Benue State. In criminal law jurisprudence as does the criminalisation of acts against procurement  ‘etiquette’ under the PPCL, the criminal quality of an act cannot be discerned by intuition nor would it be understood by reference to any conduct except one, that it is a conduct prohibited with penal consequences. It is therefore instructive to note that, the patterns and methods employed by the pepetrators of procurement corruption and frauds are numerous and unpredictable. For this reason, the PPCL deploy the use of words and concepts like, contract padding, kickback, splitting of tenders, bid-rigging, forgery, alteration, alternation tender bids, proposals or quotations, altering any procurement document, bribery, inflated costs, etcetera.

While it is instructive that these terms are not defined in the law, contract padding is over-bloated contract (padding of projects). It is defined in relation to ‘budget padding’ as the practice of  artificially inflating the  proposed  budget  in order to give room  to either expand project or cover unexpected cost that may arise from the execution of projects. [19] Many see budget padding as unethical. With reference to procurement padding, this can be expanded to mean over-bloating an acquisition to earn an undue advantage. This act when viewed without much ado, amount to both an economic crime and tantamount to breaches as envisaged by section 23(3) of the Corrupt Practices of public officers. Kickback is equally mentioned but not defined. However, kickback[20] is a slag for a bribe or incentive paid to someone who helped one to make money, or sudden, forceful recoil. It is defined as ‘an illicit payment made to someone in return for facilitating a transaction or appointment. These acts are prohibited under sections 8(2), 9, 10 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2000 and punishable therein as offences.

 

Splinting of tenders is stated under section 60(3)(d) of the law and limited to the purpose of ‘evasion of monetary threshold set’. This offence creates room for difficulty and uncertainty. The PPCL of Benue State 2020 has not in its entirety of provisions set any monetary threshold for Procurement Officers, Accounting Officers or Approving Authorities to follow. The BNSPPC meaning Council is yet to comply with Section 4 of the law which gives the Council power to consider and approve a prior review threshold for the application of the powers of this law by procuring entities. These uncertainties would be further analysed in the case of  Raymond Temisan Omatseye v Federal Republic of Nigeria[21] with its attendant consequences of the new for legislative intervention.

 

Bid-rigging, Forgery, Alteration, Alternation tender bids, Proposals or Quotations, Altering any procurement document, Bribery, Inflated costs are all created offences and yet their meanings and perspectives are not provided. However, the semblances of all the offences listed here are similar to offences created under the ICPC Act, 2000. The above provisions however demonstrate progressiveness in the Nigerian law at the national level through the Public Procurement Act and the various States that have implemented their procurement laws such as the Benue State Public Procurement Law as to adequately match the new wave of economic crime in procurement malpractices.

 

In response to this new development, the Procurement Law has progressively, criminalises ‘conduct or attempt’ to commit procurement fraud whether successful or not under section 60(3) (b) and … ‘attempt’ to influence in any manner ‘procurement process’ whether directly or indirectly under section 60(3) (c) of the BNSPPL. The effect of this section is that, it has altered the long common test of attempt and statutory criminal provisions in sections 4[22] of Criminal Code and 95[23]  of Penal Code that, attempt no matter how latent does not amount to a crime.  The tests are that, the accused must form intention to commit the crime or embark on preparation to commit the crime with just an “inch” to the actual offence. [24]The sword effect is that, once preparation to commit a procurement offence or fraud is established, whether successful or not, it is inconsequential under the sections of the Procurement Law as to whether the accused actually embarked on the commission of the crime. As Akanbi[25] noted in a similar observation that, this is a clear departure from the decision on attempt to obtain money by false pretences delivered in the case of Inspector General of Police v Fowowe.[26] Here the accused was charged with attempt to obtain money by false pretences by claiming that he could print currency notes He was however arrested before he could set up the contraption which he claimed could print currency notes. The conviction was set aside on the ground that, his alleged action was still at preparatory stage. Related to the foregoing is the case of The King v Robison[27]  is where, the appellant was charged with the attempt to obtain money by false pretences from his insurers. The appellant jeweller insured his stock against burglary. On an occasion, a policeman passing in front of the appellant’s premises, heard him shouting, ‘I am bound and gagged, open the door’. Upon forceful entry by the Police, the accused was found tied, under the situation suggesting that his attacker took away the jewellery. The Police doubting his story searched the premises and discovered the jewellery hidden behind the safe. It was held that, what the appellant did was only a preparation which had not amounted to an attempt because the false pretences which were discovered were made to the police not directly to the insurers.

 

It is important to state categorically that, any offence under the PPCL is punishable with conviction without option of fine. Where an offender is a human being but not a public officer, his/her is imprisonment for not less than 5 calendar years but not more than 10 calendar years without an option of fine without an option of fine. Where the offender is human being and a public officer, his/her punishment is summary dismissal from government services and imprisonment of not less than 5 calendar years without an option of fine. Where the offender is not a human being but a corporate entity, its punishment is debarment ( being banned and deemed ineligible to participate) from all public  procurement issues for a period not less than 5 calendar year; and a fine equivalent to 25% of the value of the procurement in issue.  In addition, all the directors of the corporate body are automatically offenders’ ipsofacto through the corporate lifting of the veil principle of criminal corporate liability. Such directors are punishable with imprisonment for not less than 3 calendar years but not more than 5 calendar years and without option of fine.

 

4.3 Prosecuting Agencies for Corruption on Public Procurement in Nigeria

There are no clear cut laws specifying prosecuting agencies for Federal and State offences committed by wrong doers in Nigeria. This factor is largely due to the federal structure of the Nigerian scene particularly due to the concurrent list items which the federal and state legislatures may enact laws on, especially as it applies in the context of procurement contracts. Generally, the following are the agencies responsible for the investigation and prosecution of related offences. The agencies include: the Nigeria Police Force,  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (“EFCC”), established by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act; the Code of Conduct Bureau (“CCB”), established by the Nigerian Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act; the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (“ICPC”), established by the Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Act; The Nigeria Police vested with the general powers of investigating and prosecuting offenders of crime and latest under study is the Bureau of Public Procurement Under the Public Procurement Act (The Benue State Public Procurement Commission)( Under the Public Procurement Law.

Corruption is a criminal offence and the subject has fairly received legislative approaches through various enactments such as: The enactment of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers,[28] Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Act,[29] Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act,[30] The Public Procurement Act[31] as mutatis mutandis applicable to the Benue State Public Procurement Law. The underlying element of these laws is the intention to prevent or eradicate corruption
at all levels, from private individuals to public officials. From regulation of conduct of
public officers to regulations on public procurement and due process and transparency
in financial transactions, the laws attempt to set policies in place that effectively prevent
corruption and prescribe sanctions for default. In the case of Dr. Dayo Olagunju v FRN [32]

The argument here was whether EFCC have the sole power to prosecute a person under section 3 of the public procurement Act 2007 or it is the Bureau of Public Procurement that has the sole authority to review and determine whether any procuring entity has violated any provisions of the public procurement Act. Another question was whether EFCC lacks the knowledge of procurement and it is only the BPP that can determine any breach of the Act. In this case, the appellant and six others were arraigned before the Federal High Court Abuja for fraud and embezzlement of public funds. The Supreme Court held that, by the combined provisions of section 174 of the constitution as well as section 5(1)(k) of the EFCC Act 2004, the EFCC can investigate and prosecute cases under the Criminal Code and the Penal Code and where the EFCC exercises its powers under section 5(1)(k) of the EFCC Act, nobody has a right to question whether it obtained the necessary fiat of the AG before embarking on the prosecution. It is not necessary for the EFCC to seek consent of the BPP or the AG before it can proceed to investigate and prosecute an accused person. Per Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs JSC

4.4 Case Law Deductions on violations of Procurement Laws

Procurement is relatively new to the Nigerian environment. The first effort at institutionalisation of procurement in Nigeria was through the enactment of the Public Procurement Act of 2007 which implementation was delayed until 2009. The Public Procurement Act/Law seek to provide for the harmonisation of existing government policies and practices on public procurement for the purpose of ensuring probity, accountability, transparency in procurement processes; the implementation of competitiveness, professionalism in public sector procurement mechanisms for purposes of fairness, competitive, value for money, standard practices for procurement and disposal of public assets.  Due to this late implementation, case development is consequently scarce and few.

 In Edo State[33] scenario in Re: Adams Oshiomhole & Others, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital and supply of equipment for the hospital, headed by Justice James Oyomire (rtd) has indicted the administration of former Governor, Adams Oshiomhole for breach of the State Public Procurement Law. The Commission held the view that, the award of the contract for the construction of the hospital to Vamed Engineering was fraught with breaches of the Edo Public Procurement Law in that, the administration breached the law by granting to the contractor 75 percent of the contract sum  upfront for the project   which is above the 25 percent upfront payment stipulated by law for government contracts upon contract award. The Commission therefore, recommended that, the Ministry of Justice should take both Civil and Criminal Proceedings against the perpetrators for breach of the law.  Although reactions have trailed the submission in the media circle by those perceived to be involved in the award, accusing Governor Godwin Obaseki  as being part of those indicted because, as at the time of the contract, Governor Obaseki was the Chief Economic Adviser and thus was part of the decision making body of that administration. The argument of one Osifo also is that, by law, a governor can limit himself to an approval of not more than #99 Million, saying that, ‘anything more than that usually comes to the Executive Council approval’.

It is interesting to note that, the Benue State Public Procurement Commission Law contain similar provisions in Sections 37 and 38. Section 37 (1) of the PPCL of Benue State provides:

“In addition to any other regulations as may be prescribed by the Commission, a mobilization fee of not more than 15% of contract sum may be paid to a supplier or contractor supported by the following- (i)in the case of State Competitive Bidding, an unconditional bank guarantee or insurance bond issued by an institution acceptable to the procuring entity; and (ii) in the case of International Competitive Bidding, an unconditional bank guarantee or insurance bond issued by a banking institution acceptable to the procuring entity. Section 37(2) of PPCL of Benue State provides further that, once a mobilization fee has been paid to any supplier or contractor, no further payment shall be made to the supplier or contractor without an interim performance certificate issued in accordance with the contract agreement”.

Section 38 of the PPCL of Benue State provides: “The provision of a Performance Guarantee shall be a precondition for the award of procurement contract upon which any mobilization fee is to be paid, provided however, it shall not be less than 10% of the contract value in any case or an amount equivalent to the mobilization fee requested by the supplier or contractor, whichever is higher”.

In Re:   Professor Thomas Agan v EFCC (2017), Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Calabar, remanded the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and two other staff of the teaching hospital and promoters of two companies in prison on a five count charge bordering on alleged conspiracy, bid rigging abuse of office and breach of due process contrary to the Procurement Act 2007. According to the EFCC, Agan and his two colleagues were alleged to have used their position to corruptly influence the award of the purchase of a Life Support Ambulance Vehicle and one Toyota Coaster Bus to Anchor Industrial and Construction Services Nigeria and Basemark Energy Nigeria LTD by inflating their costs and without following due procurement process to the tune of #85,062,000.00 contrary to sections 58(4) and punishable under section 58(5) of PPA 2007 thereby committing the above offences.[34] (similar provisions exist in sections of the PPCL)[35]. In the case of Raymond Temisan Omatseye v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2017) In that case, the applicant was convicted for the offences of approving the award of contracts above his monetary threshold as Director General of NIMASA. The applicant was found guilty of approving award of contracts above his monetary threshold and was discharged for offences of bid rigging and conducting procurement fraud. The court grouped the offences into 3 groups based on similarities of the allegation.  The first group are count 1-20 and 23-26 all touching on award of contracts by the appellant above his monetary threshold contrary to section 16(1)(a) and (b) of the PPA 2007. The second group is count 21-22 which bothers on bid rigging contrary to section 58(5)(a) and (b).The third group is count 27 which is predicated on procurement fraud contrary to section 58 (4)(b) of the PPA. The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court and upheld the conviction. On further appeal to the Supreme Court, the conviction was set aside on the basis that, the offences for the award of Contract above the monetary threshold at best constitute an administrative action and not made subject to a criminal action. Therefore by virtue of section 36(12) of the constitution 1999, which makes it clear that, no person shall be convicted for any offence unless such an offence is stated in a law and the punishment also provided.  Reference was made of the case of Bode George V FRN[36]  The Court proceeded to state that, Administrative circulars or notices have its place in government but cannot create an offence.

The apex court in the case of Maideribe V FRN,[37]  the Supreme Court held and made far reaching pronouncements on the effect of circulars bearing on procurements of a significant interest. In that case, the allegation  was that, the appellant breached the threshold as contained in a document not in any monetary threshold set or regulation duly made by the council pursuant to the Act. There was no evidence before the court when the threshold was approved by the council or reviewed, that is if the threshold was a revised one. The said sections 16(1) and 58(5) as it stand cannot create the offence of breaching monetary threshold until the power given to the council has been duly exercised as held in Bamgbose v University OF ILORIN[38]  The SC went on to hold that, the Procurement Act at Section 58(5) made a blanket criminalisation of all breaches of the Act but still went ahead in the preceding subsection to list some offences under subsection(4) as follows that, “the following shall also constitute offences under this Act…” The use of the phrase ‘shall also constitute offences’ presupposes that other offences were mentioned in the Act and the one listed in the subsection are in addition. This is not so, as no other offence was specifically listed or mentioned in the other sections of the Act. The only other provision wherein the word offence is mentioned is Section 58(5) quoted above. It is trite that, the express mention of one thing in a statutory provision automatically excludes any other which otherwise would have applied by implication with regard to the same issue. See EHUWA V O.S.I.E.C[39]  where the SC held that, where a statute mentions specific things or persons, the intention is that, those not mentioned are not intended to be included under the latin maxim ‘Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius ( The expression of one thing is the exclusion of another). The implication of the offences bothering on violations of the monetary thresholds is that, unless the legislature amends the relevant provisions, its effect will remain docile and ineffective and defeative of its purpose.

In ICPC v AMINU MEGA[40], in this case, the ICPC had arraigned a Sokoto State civil servant, one Aminu Mega, for allegedly diverting #2.6 million belonging to the state government. The said Mega was the Deputy Director (Infrastructure) of Sokoto Agriculture Development Project (SADP) was accused of presenting fake receipts to the commission during the investigation to cover the fraud, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 16 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section. Mega pleaded guilty to the charges and he was accordingly convicted. The said offence is similar to the prohibitions under section 60(3)(f) of the Benue State Pblic Procurement Law.

In another case between EFCC v Bassey Albert, a prosecuting witness, Kakwagh Ngunan, has narracted how one Senator Bassey Albert as then Commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom State,  allegedly received vehicles as a gift from Olajide Omokore whose companies executed over #3Billion  Contracts from the state government.

In Re-Danjuma Musa, The Accuse while being a procurement Officer of Ahmadu Bello University  sometime in 2016 at Zaria, colluded with Gboye Surgical Equipment to inflate the prices tendered for the supply of drugs and laboratory reagents, contracts awarded by ABU Zaria, which would not have been the case had there not been collusion between him and Gboye Surgical Equipment contrary to section 58(4)(a) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58(6)(a) and (b) of the same Act. The Accused pleaded guilty and Justice Mallong accordingly convicted and fined him an equivalent of 25% of the value of the procurement in issue amounting to the sum of #686, 540.43. He was also barred from  all public procurement for at least five calendar years [41]

 

 

4.5 Implications of the Public Procurement Laws on the Benue State House of Assembly; Benue State University; State Judiciary and Local Government Councils in Benue State.

 

This segment seek to appraise the scope of application of the procurement law  and the consequential powers of prosecuting agencies such as the EFCC, ICPC, the Police and Public Procurement Commission etcetera,  in investigating and prosecuting violations of Offenders under the Benue State Public Procurement Law as it may apply to third tier of government, particularly the 23 Local Government Councils in Benue State namely, Ado, Agatu, Apa, Buruku, Gboko, Guma, Gwer-East, Gwer-West, Katsina-Ala, Konshisha, Kwande, Logo, Makurdi, Obi, Ogbadibo, Ohimini, Oju, Okpokwu, Otukpo, Tarka, Ukum,Ushongo and Vandeikya as they draw and share from the Federation’s Consolidated Revenue Funds through the special account called “State Joint Local Government Account” under Section 162(6) of the CFRN 1999 (as amended), as well as the Legislative arm of government, the Benue State House of Assembly, and the Judicial arm of government in Benue State, the State Judiciary. This provision relate to Part III titled, ‘Scope of Application’.

 

Section 17 (1) of the BNSPPLCL provides: “The provisions of this Law shall apply to the procurement of goods, works and services carried out by the State Government and all procurement entities”. Section 17(2) provides: “The provisions of this Law shall not apply to the procurement of special goods, works and services involving security unless the Governor’s express approval has been first sought and obtained”. Under Section 2 of the BNSPPCL, the “State” defined to means Benue State of Nigeria without more and the entities that are supposed to be regulated by the law are not defined. This lacuna thus creates the difficulty as to whether; entities such as the Benue State House of Assembly, the State Judiciary, and Local Government Councils and the Benue State University[42] that receives funding from Public accounts would be exempted (although not expressly stated) or are impliedly included without expressly stated so. This seemingly quagmire and confusion may be noticed from the pre-emptory provisions of the Benue State University Procurement Manual 2018 which manual was made before the enactment of the PPLBNS 2020 and yet the enacted PPLBNS 2020 did not cure the defect under discourse.

 

Section 1(1.1) provides: “The scope of application of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, states that the provisions of the Act shall apply to all procurement of goods, works, and services carried out by: (a) The Federal Government of Nigeria and all procurement entities; All entities outside the foregoing description which derives at least 35% of the funds appropriated… from the Federation share of Consolidated Revenue Funds.[43]

Section 1(1.1.2) provides: “Benue State University is a state owned University. The Government of Benue State has not yet domesticated the Public Procurement Act 2007. However, the University is in dire need of an instrument that would guide procurement processes and activities in the University”.[44]

Section 1(1.3) provides: “The Procurement Manual shall apply to all acquisition and disposal of goods, works and services in the University” “However, in case of Donor Funded Projects, where the Procurement Manual of the University is inconsistent with the requirements of the donor, the manual of the donor shall apply if consistent with the Public Procurement Act, 2007”.[45]

While it is commendable the efforts of the Council and Management of Benue State University in prompting the operationalisation of the manual to be guided by the values of “transparency, value for money, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness, fairness, integrity, competition, time consciousness and professionalism,”[46] of service delivery, the said manual may have created several other legal issues and implications (which same may be far from the context of this paper).

With respect to the third tier of government for instance, the importance of the resolution of this issue is very germane and must necessarily precede the resolution of the ‘scope of application’. In assessing this quagmire, both the spirit and letters of the constitution and the law regulating local governments in Benue State, being  the Local Government Administration Amendment Law, 2016, which has amended the State Local Government Law of 2007, as amended by Benue State Law 13 of 2010 would be helpful. In Amoshima V State,[47] the court defined the word “Government” as follows: “By the provisions of section 318 of CFRN 1999, government includes the government of the federation or any state or of a local government council or any person who exercises power and / or authority on its behalf”.  A combined ripple effect of section 318 CFRN 1999 and Section 7(1) of CFRN 1999 which provides for …system of democratically elected local government councils mandates the government of every state, subject to section 8 of the constitution to ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils (emphasis mine). The views of the writer here are that, first, local governments are an appendage of the state and therefore the very definition of the “State” under section 2 of the BNSPPCL would include the local government councils in the scope of application. Secondly, procurement is an aspect of finance and the enacted PPCLBNS 2020 seek to regulate the public financing of goods, works and services or acquisitions through procurement in the state. The existence of local government functioning as an entity can only be activated by a law of the State House of Assembly as does in the enactment of the Local Government Administration Amendment Law, 2016.  Fourthly, local governments derives huge appropriations from the federation account as share of their Consolidated Revenue Funds and can therefore not be logically excluded from the operations of the law. For instance, in the month of  June 2020, the following allocations were earned in naira currencies[48];Ado(150,315,482.01),Agatu(132,202,942.64), Apa(127,628,830.07),Buruku(153,592,407.48),Gboko(199,510,111.47),Guma(159,739,509.46),Gwer-East(151,368,907.04),Gwer-West(131,893,933.78),Katsina-Ala(165,814,895.04), Konshisha(159,034,811.31),Kwande(178,132,260.75),Logo(140,410,805.62), Makurdi(170,987,819.60),Obi(123,413,096.06),Ogbadibo(130,316,372.12), Ohimini(117,508,026.72),Oju(148,515,617.92),Okpokwu(141,825,316.48),Otukpo(166,234,113.45),Tarka(114,715,008.59),Ukum(156,458,051.79),Ushongo(151,276,895.69)andVande-ikya (161,121,729.76).

An excursion to the Federal Statute, the Public Procurement Act[49] will reveal that, an important subsection namely Section 15(1)(b) PPA is omitted from the State legislation. Section 15(1) of the Act relating to ‘ scope of application’ provides: “the provisions of this Act shall apply to all procurement of goods, works and services carried out by: (a) the Federal Government of Nigeria and all procurement entities; Section15(1)(b) provides; all entities outside the foregoing description which derives at least 35%  of the funds appropriated or proposed to be appropriated for any type of procurement described in this Act from the federation share of Consolidated Revenue Funds”. Comparatively, in Kaduna, State,[50] section 3 therein define ‘Procurement Entities’ to “mean all ministries, Departments, Agencies, Legislature and Judiciary, Local Governments and parastatals responsible for all processes laid down in this law to carry out all procurement of goods, works and services”. Furthermore, section 38(1)[51] provides that, “There is hereby established the following bodies that shall be responsible for the conduct of public procurement in their respective entities:

(a) For each of the State’s Ministries, a Resident Due Process Committee;

(b) For the State Judiciary a Judicial Service Due Process Committee;

(c) For the State Legislature a Legislative Service Due Process Committee;

(d) For each of the State’s extra-ministerial departments, bureaux, offices and agencies including State Universities and Colleges, government-owned and/or controlled corporations, a parastatal Due Process Committee; and

(e) For each of the State’s Local Government Due Process Committee (LGDPC) provided that its membership shall include other persons as the Kaduna State Procurement Authority may from time to time stipulate.

Equally, a case study of Plateau State,[52] the state has enacted its law to cover the third tier Local Government by stating the definition of “Approving Authority”[53] to mean a body charged with the responsibility of approving public procurement in the case of;(a)…(b)…(c) Local Government Council, the Local Government Tenders Board;(d) State Tenders Board, State Executive Council. On the scope of Application, Section 14(1) of Plateau Law provides that, “The provisions of this law shall apply to all procurement of goods, works and services carried out by: (a) The State Government, Local Government Councils and all procuring Entities in the State. (b) Any public body in the state engaged in procurement, and shall include Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Bureaux, offices and the state Extra-Ministerial offices; parastatals and corporations; and (c) all entities outside the foregoing description which derive any funds appropriated or proposed to be appropriated for any type of procurement described in this law from the state government’s share of Consolidated Revenue Funds”.

Similar provisions exist in Edo State[54] where section 12(1)(a) provides “the Edo State Government including Local Government Councils and all Procurement entities;”[55] as well as  States of  Kano[56],  Yobe[57], and Lagos[58] etcetera. One would wonder why such serious omissions are made as in the case of Benue State. One would be tempted to argue that, the omission of the BNSPPCL to mention and include, the 23 Local Government Councils in Benue State, as well as the Legislative arm of government, the Benue State House of Assembly and the Judiciary of Benue State does not exclude these entities in complying with the provisions of the Procurement Law. The argument is based on the following reasons;

(a) The express omission to mention one thing- the 23 Local Government Councils in Benue State, as well as the Legislative arm of government, the Benue State House of Assembly and the Judiciary arm of Benue State, the High Court of Justice- does not automatically excludes any other which otherwise would have applied by implication with regard to the same issue. See EHUWA V O.S.I.E.C[59] where the SC held that, where a statute mentions specific things or persons, the intention is that, those not mentioned are not intended to be included under the latin maxim ‘Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius ( The expression of one thing is the exclusion of another).

(b) The Public Procurement Act is a Federal Law which expressly includes section 15(1) (b) on 35% of the funds appropriated or proposed to be appropriated for any type of procurement described in this Act from the federation share of Consolidated Revenue Funds. The implication of this enactment to the conflict or omission of the BNSPPCL 2020 is that, adhering to the doctrine of covering the field, the federal law will supersede. See the case of Attorney General of Ogun State v Attorney General of the Federation[60] Where Supreme Court held that, the doctrine of Covering the Field can manifest where a State  House of Assembly by the purported exercise of its legislative powers enact a law, which an Act of the National Assembly has made provisions covering the matter of the law, the federal law supersedes. The SC stated that, the doctrine is  validated under section 4(5) of the CFRN 1999. See Saraki v FRN[61] where the Sc stated that, where the doctrine of covering the field is in vogue in the Constitution any other legislation on the same field whether by the Federal/State government must bow to the dictates of the Constitution.

(c) The 23 Local Government Councils[62] in Benue State, as well as the Legislative arm of government, the Benue State House of Assembly and the Judiciary[63] arm of Benue State, the High Court of Justice do respectively draw and share from the Federations Consolidated Revenue Funds.  The Consolidated Revenue Funds is the fund into which all revenues are required by the Constitution to be paid into. The only agencies that are not subject to the general procurement regime are those agencies that are not connected with the Federal Government or even if connected with the Federal Government, do not derive up to 35% of the funds appropriated  for any type of procurement from the Federation share of the Consolidated Revenue Funds.

(d) The PPA has benchmark the operationalisation of procurement scope with the understanding of commitment to enact complimentarily of State Procurement Laws[64].

Before concluding on the scope of application, the PPCLBS rather provide for an obnoxious section 17(2) which provides thus:

“Pending the appointment of the Council and the Commission, all Public Procurement may be done under extant financial regulations on Procurement in the state”

This provision with due respect is counter the spirit of procurement. There is a presumption that every enacted statute has a purpose. The law took effect on its signing the 6th of August, 2020 wherein a Director General of the Commission and members appointed. The continued retention of the said section in the law is capable of giving wrong and conflicting signals to procurement officials as to suggest collusiveness pursuant to Section 60(8) of the Law which provides thus:

“Collusion shall be presumed from a set of facts from which it can be assumed that there was an understanding, implicit, formal or informal, overt or covert under which each person involved reasonably expected that the other would adopt a particular course of action which would interfere with the faithful and proper application of the provisions of this Law.

 

Concluding Remarks

The paper has attempted to high light the importance stakeholders enlightenment and   review of basic understanding the implementation of the PPCLBS on the penal provisions on procurement violations. It has established the connection between procurement and the underhand practices of corruption in procurement award and execution of public contracts through inflation of contract costs and other kinds of manipulations of the procurement and contract award processes. It has identified major acts and omission that characterise procurement crimes, including, offences of entering or attempting to enter into a collusive agreement for the increasing of prices of goods, services or construction; conducting procurement fraud through undue influence, interest favour, bribery and corruption; contract splitting; unduly influencing procurement proceedings; bid rigging; uttering  and using fake documentations; altering documentation with intent to influence proceedings, etcetera. The offences may be discovered through procurement surveillance and review by the Commission under Section 8(1) PPCL thereof, as well as under the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) or it could be discovered during administrative review proceedings within the Commission Powers. The offences created are strict liability offences with no corresponding defences that could be raised. The offences are strict liability because; mens rea does not seem to be imputed. The penalties are also strict without option of fine. The court vested with the jurisdiction to try the offence is the High Court of Justice.[65] Thereafter, appeals can only lie to the Court of Appeal and thereafter to the Supreme Court in line with constitutional dictates.

It is also the view of the paper that, the enacted PPCL 2020 needs an immediate amendment to bring the letters of the law to the true spirit of procurement intendment. Section 17 (2) PPCL should be abrogated and it’s substituted, the enacted provision similar to section 14(1)(2) and (3) of the Procurement Law of Plateau State. The said Section 17(2) of the PPCL of Benue State has surreptitiously institutionalised and legalised the failed inadequate system that promoted corruption in procurement through the central Tender Board of financial and Treasury Circulars on public expenditures.

It is also the submitted view of the paper that, even with no clear provisions covering the 23 Local Government Councils in the state, as well as the State House of Assembly and the Benue State Judiciary, the enacted PPCL of Benue State covers the said institutions.

 

Associate Professor of Law and Consultant on Intellectual Property, Oil & Gas and Public Procurement Laws.08035917744 email-jkur@bsum.edu.ng

[1] Benue State of Nigeria Gazette Notice No.35 Vol.45

[2] Public Procurement Commission Law of Benue State (hereinafter simply called PPCLBS)

[3] Cap C Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as Amended)

[4] Cap 89     Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963

[5] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)

[6] Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, 1990, St Paul Minn West Publishers

[7] JN Samba, The Existing Categories of Punishment: Anyway Forwards A Crime Free Society? ( 2002)BSULJ Vol 1 No1 P1

[8] Section 2 PPL of Benue State

[9] Transparency International, a German non government organisation founded in 1993 with the sole purpose to combat global corruption with societal anti-corruption measures www.devex.com>organisation>

[10] The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade

[11](1951) NLR p 30

[12]  Adeyemi AA  “Corruption in Nigeria”in Kalu and Osibanjo (ed) perspective in Corruption and Other Economic Crimes in Nigeria (Federal Ministry of Justice) 191

 

[13] Corruption and Democratisation in Nigeria, (1983-1993): An Overview cited in (2009)8 Vol 1 UJLJ 123

[14] Rasheedat A Okoduwa ”Aspects of Corruption in Public Sector Procurement” Being a paper presented at a 2 day Workshop on Public Procurement and Financial Management at Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Abuja on wednessday, 22/07/2011

[15]  Rasheedat A Okoduwa (n11)

[16] Rasheedat A Okoduwa (n11)

[17] Public Officer may be defined as persons who perform the services of the federation or a state in any capacity. This definition is in line with Section 319 of the Constitution 1999 which defines public service of the Federation or of a state as ‘the service of the Federation or of a state in any capacity’

[18] By virtue of part II of the 5th schedule to the 1999 constitution, public officer include, the President, the Vice President, Members of the National Assembly and State House of  Assembly of States, Governors, Deputy Governors, Chief Justice of the Federation and all Judicial Officers on the Bench, Attorney –General of the Federation and the States, Ministers, Commissioners, all members of the armed forces of the Federation, Persons in the Civil Service of the Federation and the States, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Officers of Nigerian Missions abroad, Chairman and Staff of Code of Conduct Bureau and Local Government, Members of Boards of Statutory Corporations, all staff of Universities, Colleges and Schools owned by Federal or State Governments etc

[19] Kingsley Amah, Budget Padding: Causes and Solutions https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335431030

[20] www.dictionary.com

[21] 2017 Court of Appeal Case (infra)

[22] Criminal Code Act

[23] Penal Code Laws of Northern Nigeria

[24] Kharisu Suffiyan Chukkol, Law of Crime in Nigeria in Nigeria ( ABU Press, 1988) 37

[25] MM Akanbi, An Appraisal of the Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, (2013) 15 No.1 The Nigerian Law Journal at 115

[26] (1957) WRNLR 188

[27] (1915)2 KB 342

[28] 5th Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended

[29] NFIU Act 2018

[30] Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011

[31] Public Procurement Act 2007

[32] (2018) 10NWLR part 1627

[33] Nigeria: Panel Indicts Oshiomhole’s Administration for Alleged Breach of Procurement Law This Day newspaper 15th May 2020

[34] Saharareporters.com>2017/06/14

[35] See Sections 60(3)(i)-(vii)(4)-(9) of PPCL

[36] (2011) 10 NWLR Part 1254

[37] (2003) LPELR-21861

[38] (1999)10 NWLR PT622.

[39] (2006)10 NWLR Part 1012 p 544

[40] Matthew Ogune “ICPC arraigns Sokoto official for alleged #2.6m fraud” Metro newspaper of 21/10/2020

[41] Matthew Ogune(n40)

[42] Benue State University implemented the Benue State University Procurement Manual of December,2018.

[43] BSU (n42)

[44] BSU (n42)

 

[45] Section1(1.1.3)(n42)

[46] Section 1.2 (n42)

[47] (2011) All FWLR (pt 597) 601 at 619

[48] Federation Account Allocation Committee June Disbursement as supplied by National Bureau of Statistics www.nigerianstat.gov.ng (visited on 20/10/2020)

[49] Public Procurement Act No 14 2007

[50] A Law to Establish A Public Procurement Authority For Kaduna State and For Connected Purposes 2016

[51] Kaduna (n50)

[52] Plateau State Bureau of Public Procurement Law 2018

[53] Section 2

[54] Edo State Public Procurement Agency Law 2012

[55]  Edo State (n54)

[56] Kano State Public Procurement Commission 2012

[57] Yobe State Bureau on Public Procurement Law 2016 Amended 2019

[58] Lagos State Public Procurement  Agency Law 2013

[59] Supra

[60] (1982)2 NCLR 166

[61] (2016)LPELR 40013(SC)

[62] By virtue of Section 162 (6)(8) of the CFRN 1999

[63] By Executive Order 00-10 of 2020, granting financial autonomy to the legislature and the Judiciary in the 36 states of the Federation.

[64] The Federal Ministry of Finance, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), the 36 Governors through the NGF and the International Development Partners (IDPs) signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010 to establish partnership for purposes of ensuring promotion, adoption, passage and implementation of Fiscal Responsibility and Public Procurement legislation and regulations at the state level for uniformity of purpose in fiscal and public procurement matters.

[65]  Section 60(2)

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