By Onoh Chukwuma Richard, SA to the Governor of Abia State.
Dr Philips Nto, current Provost of Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu, and a former Commissioner for Finance in Abia state, featured in a radio interview on Flo Fm 94.9, Umuahia, Friday, wherein he spoke extensively on the circumstances surrounding his invitation to the EFCC and some documents circulating on the internet.
Dr Philips Nto clarified that the invitation by the EFCC was in no way a witch-hunt but a routine exercise by the anti-graft agency to give account of what transpired while he was the commissioner of finance for the state.
Nto further clarified the issue of percentages purportedly agreed to be paid to certain consultants on the management of the Paris Club Refund saying his ministry at that particular time engaged only one consultant at 30% and not two consultants at 50% as claimed by his successor, Obinna Oriaku.
The ASCETA Provost reiterated that there was no way two consultants could have been engaged at the same time for the same work noting that Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited was the only company engaged by his ministry as the Commissioner for Finance. Nto further stated that the evidence of engagement to the consultant as made available on the internet was just one and confirmed signing it as a commissioner.
Dr Philips further posited that his administration never received any Paris Club Refund, even though the ministry which he headed then engaged the consultant that recovered the funds but didn’t receive it as it was received in the next administration that succeeded the one he served.
Nto who laughed off the statement that other states paid their consultants within the region of 3% to 5% queried the authenticity of such statements saying that until the terms of agreement of those states with their consultants were seen anyone could come out with ridiculous figures just to malign and indict him and the administration he served in the media as there must be an offer, an acceptance and consideration which is the bidding agreement that binds the government and their consultants. Nto challenged those circulating the falsehood of other states to provide true signed copies of such agreements before they can be taken serious.
Furthermore, he stated that those championing the falsehood are the real enemies of the state and that they have failed in their bid to drag the name of former Governor of the State and Lawmaker representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Senator T.A Orji, in the mud as all the processes leading to the hiring of a consultant for the management of the Paris Club Refund and the agreements thereto were done by the ministry of finance without any influence or intervention by the then Governor.