By Taiye Agbaje
A non-governmental organisation has urged the Federal High Court, Abuja to nullify all certificates of no objection issued by Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) since 2007 over alleged breach of the agency’s law.
The NGO, under the auspices of the Registered Trustees of Network for the Actualization Of Social Growth and Viable Development (NAFGAD), told the court in a fresh suit filed by its lawyer, Timilehin Odunwo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that certificate of no objection is a document which authenticates that due process was followed in the course of contract procurement, especially at a national or subnational scale.
The group, in its originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1056/2023, had sued the president, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the BPP and its director-general as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.
In the suit dated Aug. 1 and filed Aug. 2, NAFGAD alleged that since the BPP was established in 2007, its National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) had never been constituted contrary to relevant laws.
The group accused the BPP of taking decisions on its own volition, without supervision and in accordance with the establishment act.
It maintained that a non-constitution of the NCPP would breed corruption in the system to the detriment of the society.
It said despite its letters to the AGF and the BPP on the alleged unlawful act, the letters were ignored and the agency continued to issue certificate of no objection to procuring entities without recourse to the National Council’s regulations in line with its mandate.
The group, therefore, sought six reliefs which include “a declaration that the non-constitution of the National Council on Public Procurement by the President of Nigeria amounts to a breach of Section 1 (1&4) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
“A declaration that all the certificates of no objection issued over time by the Bureau of Public Procurement since 2007 till date, having not been supervised by a legally constituted National Council on Public Procurement in line with Sections 2 &6(1) of the Procurement Act, 2007 is void.
“A declaration that the appointment of the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without the recommendation of a constituted National Council on Public Procurement is a complete breach and total disregard to Section 7(1) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and therefore illegal.
“An order of the Honourable Court mandating the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to constitute the National Council on Public Procurement for the purpose of the appointment of the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement.
“An order of this Honourable Court prohibiting the Bureau of Public Procurement from further issuing certificate of no-objection to any government agency, parastatals or person until the National Council on Public Procurement is constituted,” among others.
The case is yet to be assigned to a judge for determination. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza