How Bauchi Rep Member, Mansur Soro Executes Fictitious, Shoddy Constituency Projects Through Suitcase Company Owned by a Close Associate

The serving federal lawmaker representing Darazo-Ganjuwa in the House of Representatives Mansur Manu Soro, has used a briefcase company, Sahel Global Desert Energy Ltd and poorly executed  constituency projects worth about a N100 million. 

The company which has no records of undertaking similar projects in the past-having been registered in April 2019 as an energy firm and not construction company, was paid the various amounts in 2021 for the construction of a maternity, rural earth road and an earth dam nominated by the lawmaker.

WikkiTimes’ investigation  revealed that the first director of the company Abubakar Abdullahi is an associate of  the Lawmaker.

Sahel Global Desert Energy housed at  No 65 Tudun Wada Soro, the birth place of the lawmaker was paid  more than N20 million for the construction of a maternity and child health clinic at Gabciyari in two installments. WikkiTimes investigation shows that the  hospital was never constructed.   

This medium found that  Sahel Global Desert Energy was paid another N10,177,316.89 on 19th Feb, 2021 with payment code of 1000761889-11 for the construction and equipping of maternal and child health clinic with staff quarters at Gabciyari ward, Darazo LGA, Bauchi State. On  29th July 2021, the same company  also received another tranche of N10,072,941.73 with payment code of 1000838056-17 for the same construction of maternal and child health at Gabciyari. Cumulatively, it received the sum of  N20,250,258.62. in two installments for a maternity project that dissipates into the tin air.

When WikkiTimes visited Gabciyari, hospital staff and locals told our correspondent that they knew nothing about the project. Multiple sources that spoke with our reporter said the contractor only came, inspected the site and never returned. 

Locals told WikkiTimes that Gabciyari already has a comprehensive primary healthcare centre that was renovated under EU-UNICEF intervention in 2021-the same year Sahel Global Desert Energy was paid money for the construction of a new facility in the same location. 

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“He (the contractor) only came when we heard that a new facility will be built to us. We took him round the old site and he said it is okay. Since then, we never heard of anything until this your (WikkiTimes reporter) visit”, said one of the health workers who took  WikkiTimes’ reporter round the proposed project site.

The proposed project site behind the facility          Gabciyari PHCC renovated by EU&UNICEF

 Sahel Given Similar Work in Gungura Village, but Poorly Executed

The Sahel Global Desert Energy Ltd was also awarded another contract for the construction of a Maternal and Child Health Centre in Gungura, Ganjuwa LGA, a project similar to that of Gabciyari. 

The company received N7,813,005.74 on 29th July 2021 as final payment for the construction of 1no maternal and child health clinic at Gungura with a payment code of 1000838056-13.

WikkiTimes’ investigation revealed that months after its construction, part of the facility’s roofing was damaged,  compromising its suitability for hospital services

Leaked Ceilings Gungura newly built Maternity

Sadiq Abdullahi Gungura a staff volunteer at the PHC who witnessed how the work was done noted that from the beginning, the workers assigned to the project displayed a lack of construction expertise. He also mentioned that various groups of workers were frequently replaced — one team would abandon the work, only to be substituted by another, indicating a fundamental lack of knowledge and coordination among the contractors.

Construction of Soro-Gungura, Soro-Shila & Yautare-Tauya roads

Additionally, the company received a payment of N62,741,210.10 on April 1, 2021, for the construction and rehabilitation of the Soro-Gungura, Soro-Shila, and Yautare-Tanya roads in the Ganjuwa/Darazo Federal Constituency of Bauchi State. Similar to the situation with the Gabciyari maternal and child health clinic, the road projects in Soro-Shila and Yautare-Tanya were not carried out by the company.

For the Soro-Gungura road, it was reported that Sahel Global Desert Energy cleared the path and laid down laterite from Soro to Wuro-Bogga but then abandoned the project prior to the 2023 elections. “They only used a grader to apply a thin layer of sand and then left. The road is in disrepair now, with many potholes reappearing. You can’t even tell that any work was done here; it didn’t even reach Wuro-Bogga,” explained Muhammed Ishiyaku, a local resident of Fala community. Similarly, the contractor did not commence work on the Yautare-Tauya and Soro-Shila roads. Mallam Haruna Shila, a resident of Shila, confirmed to a reporter that no improvements had been made to the road, contradicting the contractor’s claims.

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One of the access road to Gungura

Fewo Earth Dam

Sahel Global Desert Energy received N20,772,908.97 on March 11, 2021, as the initial payment for constructing an earth dam in the Fewo community of the Darazo/Ganjuwa Federal Constituency. Similar to the Gungura project, the Fewo dam was poorly constructed and fails to retain water for more than two months post-rainfall, hardly resembling a functional dam.

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Locals initially expressed enthusiasm about the dam’s potential benefits for irrigation. Abubakar Fewo, a local farmer, shared his initial high hopes for the project, but soon found the dam ineffective as it dried up shortly after the rainy season ended. “We expected a significant dam, but what was built was minimal and ineffective. The water doesn’t last; at most, it held for one or two months after the rain, overflowing during the season and then quickly drying up, rendering it useless,” Abubakar claimed.

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, criticized the construction quality, noting that the dam’s flat banks were unable to retain water, unlike a more successfully constructed dam in the nearby village of Nabayi. “The dam in Tafin-Gadda is what a real dam looks like, not like ours. Ours seems more like a mock-up than a real dam,” he told WikkiTimes.

Fewo earth dam

Company’s physical address not traceable

Sahel Global Desert Energy, which was registered on April 2, 2019, lists its address as No. 65 Tudun Wada Soro, coincidentally the same location as the federal lawmaker’s address. The company is controlled by Abdullahi Abubakar and Ibrahim Abubakar, who serve as both directors and shareholders. However, a verification conducted by WikkiTimes revealed that there is no physical structure at the listed address that can be associated with the company

This situation highlights the classic example of a “suitcase company” — a term used to describe an entity that exists on paper to secure multi-million naira contracts without a physical presence or the capability to perform the contracted work.

When approached for comment, Mansur Manu Soro, the representative for the Darazo Ganjuwa Federal Constituency, acknowledged the project in Gungura but disclaimed any knowledge of the project in Gabciyari. “I am not aware of that one. There can sometimes be discrepancies between what we budget for and what the executing agency accomplishes. The appropriations are assumptions, and the implementing agency might adjust their actions based on funding limitations,” he explained.

Upon mentioning a government payment recorded on, a public procurement portal by BudgIT Nigeria, Soro clarified, “To my knowledge, there was no award for Gabciyari, though there was for Gungura.”

Addressing questions about any connections with Sahel Global Desert Energy Ltd, Soro stated, “I have no alliance with Sahel Global Desert Energy Ltd and can’t even recall the name. It’s possible that the company exists in Soro, as during the bidding process, anyone can participate.”

Despite his denials, a WikkiTimes investigation found definitive evidence linking the lawmaker to the owner of the company. Examination of the Facebook page of director Abubakar Abdullahi (Habu Soro) revealed active campaigning for Soro during his 2019 election campaign for the House of Representatives

Further checks also show that the Mansur Manu foundation owned by the lawmaker was registered by the same deponent that registered Sahel Global Desert Energy Limited. 

Local informants and individuals close to the lawmaker confirmed that Abubakar Abdullahi, the director of Sahel Global Desert Energy Ltd, maintains a close relationship with the lawmaker. “Yes, they are quite close, and the director is even a key member of the lawmaker’s entourage and household,” a source who wished to remain anonymous disclosed to WikkiTimes. This connection has led to suspicions that Abdullahi is being used as a figurehead for the company’s contractual activities.

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Abubakar Abdullahi, when reached by WikkiTimes, acknowledged that his company had been awarded several projects in the constituency and requested further details. He listed projects like the Fewo earth dam, the road from Soro to Gungura, and the Aliya Maternity among others awarded to his company. Although he confirmed his role as one of the directors, when queried about the maternity projects in Gungura and Gabciyari, Abdullahi redirected the latter to Aliya, citing decisions made by the area’s traditional rulers and local government. “The project in Gabciyari was moved to Aliya because Gabciyari already has a health facility,” he explained.

Despite Abdullahi’s claims of independence from the lawmaker, his reassurances were contradicted by the lack of clarity and his failure to follow through on promises to provide detailed project information. He had committed to sending details of the executed projects to WikkiTimes via WhatsApp, but despite several reminders, he had not responded by the time of the report’s publication

screenshots of WikkiTimes WhatsApp chat with Abubakar Abdullahi.

To verify the claim that a maternity facility was constructed in Aliya, a community over an hour away from Lanzai by motorcycle, WikkiTimes visited the site and discovered that, consistent with other projects undertaken by the company, the execution was subpar. The facility’s ceiling was nearly collapsing, and parts of the roofing had been blown away by the wind. A political leader in the area confirmed to WikkiTimes that the roofing damage occurred just months after the project’s completion, highlighting the poor quality of the construction.

Aliya Child and Mother Clinic

Traditionally, a legislator’s role includes identifying the specific locations and types of projects needed in their constituencies. Once these needs are determined, they are communicated to the National Assembly, which then incorporates these requirements into the budget allocations for relevant ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs). Following this, the MDAs are responsible for advertising these projects in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, ensuring that all procedures are transparent and open to competitive bidding. This process is designed to ensure that the development needs of constituencies are met in a lawful and effective manner. WikkiTimes could not establish whether these processes were adhered to in Awarding these fictitious and shoddy contracts to Sahel Global Desert Energy Ltd.

This investigation is produced with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability Project CMEDIA funded the MacArthur Foundation.


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