Former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the $841.6m Abuja rail project in 2007 without a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and design.
This was disclosed on Monday by Etim Abak, the project manager of CCE, the Chinese firm handling the project.
Abak told the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during an oversight to the project site that the then Minister of FCT now governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, signed the contract on behalf of the federal government.
Abak said the contract was awarded based on conceptual design while estimates were not properly done.
The revelations were made as a sequel to the committee’s discovery that the contract, which stood at 60.67 kilometres, was inflated by $10 million per kilometre.
It was also discovered that the project was eventually reduced to 45 kilometres without a refund for the 15 kilometres difference.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, therefore demanded a refund of $195.8 million by the Chinese firm as the amount representing the 15 kilometre shortfall.