The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Wednesday, declared the promoter of Sunrise Power and Transmission Limited, Leno Adesanya, wanted for “an alleged conspiracy and corrupt offer to public officers” in connection with the alleged $6bn Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station fraud.

This was as former President Muhammadu Buhari denied authourising payment of settlement to  Sunrise Power and Transmission Limited, which sued the Federal Government for alleged breach of contract, demanding $2.3bn in damages.

The EFCC, on Wednesday, posted the wanted notice with Adesanya’s photograph on its official X handle, #OfficialEFCC.

According to the notice,  Adesanya, 66, is from the Eti-Osa Local Government of Lagos State, “whose last known address is 26, Balarabe Musa Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos.”

The EFCC urged anybody with useful information about his whereabouts, to report to any of its agency offices across the country.

Adesanya’s name featured in the corruption charges filed by the EFCC against a former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye.

The anti-graft agency had on January 10 arraigned Agunloye over an alleged $6bn fraud in connection to the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station.

Agunloye served as minister between 1999 and 2003 under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The seven counts against him  bordering on “fraudulent award of contract and official corruption.”

In one of the charges, the EFCC alleged that on May 22, 2003,Agunloye awarded a contract, titled “Construction of 3,960mw Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station on a Build, Operate and Transfer Basis” to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited “without any budgetary provision, approval and cash backing.”

The anti-graft agency said by so doing the ex-minister violated  Section 22(4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

In another count, Agunloye was alleged to have on August 10, 2019 “corruptly received the sum of N3.6m from Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited and Leno Adesanya for having conveyed the ‘approval of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the construction of the 3,960 megawatts Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station’ in favour of SPTCL, which you did whilst serving as the Minister of Power and Steel without the approval of the Federal Executive Council.”

The ex-minister, however,  pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, Sunrise Power has dragged the Federal Government to arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France, alleging a breach of contract, according to reports by TheCable.

The company said it was awarded a $6bn build, operate and transfer contract in May 2003 by the Obasanjo administration but stated that the Federal Government at the time, rejected the agreement.

Sunrise is now seeking $2.3bn compensation, claiming it had spent millions of dollars on financial and legal consultants before the contract was jettisoned.

However, Obasanjo has continued to deny authorising Agunloye to commit Nigeria to the $6bn “build, operate and transfer” contract.

Similarly, ex-President Muhammadu Buhari denied authorising any settlement agreement with Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited on the Mambilla hydroelectric power project.

In a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), sighted by TheCable, Buhari said, “While I understood that my ministers of justice, power and water resources were approached by Sunrise and were engaging with various stakeholders that were involved in the project to resolve the issues blocking the project’s implementation, at no time did I specifically instruct them to enter into and conclude any settlement agreement with Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited.

“Indeed, when the proposed settlement agreement and addendum were presented to me for my consideration and approval on 20th April 2020, I refused to approve the settlement deal because I was convinced that there was no basis for Sunrise’s claim.”