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How Peter Mbah Signed N100b MoU With Four-Day-Old Company

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How Peter Mbah Signed N100b MoU With Four-Day-Old Company

Pragmatic Palms Limited, the company entrusted with resuscitating the Enugu State United Palm Products Limited (UPPL) by the Enugu State Governor, was only registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission on May 6, 2024, FIJ has found.

On Friday, Peter Mbah announced that he had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pragmatic Palms to revive the moribund palm product establishment. Mbah described it as an effort in line with his commitment to move the state from the current $4.4 billion economy to $30 billion.

More interestingly, Adoara Chukwu, the state commissioner for trade, revealed that the partnership signaled a partial handover of the firm to Pragmatic Palms Limited during the signing ceremony.

“Today, we witnessed a remarkable milestone. Recall that before His Excellency came on board, one of the first promises he had made to the people of Enugu State was to revive our non-operational assets, and United Palm Products Ltd is one significant asset that has been dormant for years,” said Chukwu.

“And what we did today was the partial handover and the contract signing of UPPL to a company called Pragmatic Palm Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Diamond Stripes Limited.”

PRAGMATIC PALMS LIMITED

Due to the monetary worth of the deal and its significance to the economy of the state,  The press dug into the background of Pragmatic Palms Limited and found that the company was registered a few days ago, four days before the deal with the state government was announced.

Already, the registration date challenges whether the government followed due process in sealing the partnership. The press further found that the company is registered under the name Diamond Stripes Limited.

Diamond Stripes Limited, which appears to be a parent company, was registered in November 2007 and is owned by a certain George Nwangwu, according to CAC.

Quite noticeably also, two other companies – Diamond Stripes Hydrocarbon Limited and Diamond Stripes Abuja Today Limited –associated with the parent company were registered with the CAC between 2020 and 2022.

Diamond Striped Limited, the supposed parent company, is listed as inactive by the Corporate Affairs Commission. By implication, the firm violates Section 822 (1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA 2020), which mandates all entities to file annual returns with CAC by June 30 every year.

Although an MOU is not legally binding in the way a contract is, Enugu State may be violating important provisions in its procurement laws if it forges on with the partnership.

If Peter Mbah contractually entrusts UPPL to Pragmatic Palms, he might run foul of the provisions that require procuring entities to have a three-year clearance before getting government contracts.

In the event that Diamond Stripes Limited takes over the UPPL instead, Peter Mbah might be violating the section of the Enugu State procurement laws that mandate procuring entities to “have fulfilled all its obligations to pay taxes, pensions and social security contributions”.

 

FIJ

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