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EFCC probes Chime’s N13.6bn Enugu secretariat project


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Enugu

Image: Part of the Secretariat being constructed

April.15.2013

 

BY OZIOMA UBABUKOH

 

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun a full-scale investigation into the ongoing N13.6bn Enugu State secretariat project.

The anti-graft agency’s zonal office in Enugu in November 2012 had carried out preliminary investigation into the secretariat project, following a petition by the Coordinator of Congress for Progressives Change in Enugu State, Mr. Osita Okechukwu.

The state government had approved N13.6bn for the project while Arab Contractors Limited won the contract.

 During the preliminary investigation, which took place while Governor Sullivan Chime was away on prolonged medical vacation, the then Accountant-General, Eunice Ugwu, reportedly told EFCC investigators that the project would cost N8bn and not N13.6bn as claimed by the petitioner.

She also allegedly told the investigators that government only released money for the feasibility studies and demolition of old state secretariat, which were provided for in the 2012 budget.

However, immediately the governor returned to the country on February 8, Ugwu was redeployed to the Civil Service Commission as a Permanent Secretary.

Our correspondent gathered that based on findings made from the preliminary investigations, the anti-graft agency’s office in Abuja has re-opened the case file for another round of inquiry.

Our correspondent on Sunday obtained a copy of the EFCC invitation extended to Okechukwu through his lawyers, T.M. Eke and Associates of Magnolia Chambers, Enugu, to appear at the commission’s Abuja office on Wednesday, April 18.

The letter read, “Investigation Activities Re-Petition against the Accountant General of Enugu State. You may recall that you wrote a petition dated September 18, 2012 on behalf of your client, Congress for Progressives Change against the Accountant-General of Enugu State.

 “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to inform your client to report for an interview with the undersigned through Mr. Chris Owobu on April 18, 2013 at No 5, Block C, Fomella Street, Off Adetokumbo Ademole Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, by 1000hrs. Your cooperation in this regard is highly solicited please.”

The Head, Economic Governance, EFCC, Olufunke Adetayo, signed the invitation letter.

When contacted on telephone, Okechukwu confirmed that he received an invitation through his lawyer to appear at the EFCC Abuja office on Wednesday for an interview.

 

Article Credit: Punch Newspaper

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Updated 6 Years ago
 

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