August 30, 2022

Alleged N2bn road contract: EFCC  invites 13 Ebonyi LG chairmen

NDIC asks EFFC for funds recovered from banks' frauds

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…As state government directs they should avail themselves for questioning 

By David Odama

ABAKALIKI—CHAIRMEN  of the 13 local government areas of Ebonyi State are under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged road contract estimated at N2 billion.

Documents obtained by Vanguard indicated that the  anti-graft agency had invited the chairmen, following a petition that the amount meant for road projects was allegedly mismanaged by the chairmen and some key aides of the state Governor, David Umahi. 

A letter of invitation, dated July 6, 2022, and signed by the commission’s Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, was extended to all the chairmen, through the state’s Local Government Service Commission, to appear at the anti-graft national headquarters, in Abuja, on separate dates from July 15, 2022, to August 11, 2022. 

The anti-graft body’s letter of invitation,’addressed to the Chairman, Ebonyi State Local Government Service Commission, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, read: “This commission is investigating a complaint in which they need to seek certain clarification from your local government chairmen.”

The  Local government service  commission in response to the EFCC  letter, urged the Council Chairmen to ensure strict compliance with the directive.

The forwarding letter, dated 22 July, 2022 and titled; re: Investigation activities  read, “I am directed to refer to the letter with ref. No. Cr: 3000/abj/hq/cmu 1/st/du/vol.4/343 of  6th July, 2022 by EFCC on the above subject as attached and to respectfully inform you that your presence is needed at the EFCC Headquarters, 5th Floor, Plot 301/302 Institution and Research District, Jabi, Abuja at 1000 hours. (See attached schedule).

“Please, take note of the urgent nature of the invitation letter and act accordingly for the invitation came to us today being 22nd day of July, 2022 and received by the Local Government Service Commission. Suffice it to say that you  make frantic efforts to honour the invitation and find attached for your guidance while noting paragraph three for its emphasis.”

 The letter specified the dates on which each of the Council Chairmen is expected to be quizzed and they are said to have gone to Abuja to say what they know about the issues at stake.

 The invitation also stated that the concerned chairmen “are to come along with Certified True Copies of all documents, approvals and payments made for One Kilometer Road construction in their Local Government Areas in 2019. This request is made pursuant to Section 38 (1) & (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.”