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How National Assembly members divert contracts for themselves at PRODA, by acting DG

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How National Assembly members divert contracts for themselves at PRODA, by acting DG

*** Onje insists he remains the board chairman

The acting director general of Product Development Institute (PRODA) Engineer Fabian Okonkwo opened a can of worms Wednesday, alledging that national Assembly members diverted most of the contracts in the agency to themselves and their cronies.

He spoke at the ongoing investigations into the procurement violations in the agency by by the Honorable Nasiru Ali Ahmed led House public procurement committee

Testifying before the panel the embattled DG insisted that the contracts being investigated were awarded in full compliance of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

He further indicated that most of the jobs executed in the agency were done by highly placed individuals in the National and State Houses of Assembly.

“Mr. Chairman, honourable members, most of the contracts at PRODA belongs to senators and members of the House of Representatives”

Although, Okonkwo was compelled to apologised to the lawmakers for disclosing that the contracts were executed by them, he explained that they were two types of contracts at the agency, which include the agency’s contracts and zonal intervention projects otherwise called constituency projects domiciled in the institute.

He clarified that the constituency project contracts were the ones that belonged to the legislators.

The acting DG who was accused of opening an authorised bank account said it was the board chairman of the agency that gave him the approval.

The committee chairman, Hon. Ahmed and many other lawmakers frowned at the action of the acting DG to open an account without approval describing it as an illegality.

Also, testifying before the committee, the permanent secretary, ministry of science and technology, Mr Sunday Edet Akpan said it was not the ministry of science and technology that appointed the acting DG as required by law establishing the agency.

He also said that the actions of the acting DG in awarding some contacts were in violation of the public procurement Act, 2007.

He further said that the the acting chairman of the board, Mr. Diran Ayanbeku had clearly usurped the powers of the president as the Act establishing the agency had clearly stated that it is the president that has powers to appoint a board chairman adding that every of their action the duo is an illegality.

According to the House committee, the acclaimed acting chairman of the board ought not to have assumed the office without communication from Mr. President who has the absolute power to appoint both the board chairman and it members.

In his reaction, the board chairman, Comrade Daniel Onje who has stepped aside in view of the ongoing investigations insisted that he has neither been suspended or sacked by the President adding that he is still the chairman pending the outcome of the probe.

Onje said he was not an impostor as been painted by the committee members and Diran Ayanbeku group as “only the president have the power to appoint and remove me from office. “As we speak, the president has neither sacked me or suspended me. Rather, I was asked to step aside so that investigations into the issues of procurement will be carried out without interference.

“I’m not an impostor; I am still the chairman until Mr. President does otherwise. There is no allegations of corruption against me anywhere as the DG was suspended on my recommendations. However, I stepped aside for a smooth investigation”, he said.

He argued that this was a normal administrative procedure when issues like this arise but that does not mean he is on suspension.

Chairman of the committee, Honorable Ahmad however, told Onje that the permanent secretary, Mr. Sunday Akpan had confirmed that he was no longer the board chairman.

Ahmed ruled that all parties involved, including Onje and his board members should return to the committee on Thursday for the continuation of the investigation. He said all concerned will be given room to make their presentations and defend themselves when the investigation reopens tomorrow.

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Again, corruption allegations lands Okorocha in EFCC net

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Again, corruption allegations lands Okorocha in EFCC net

Tuesday was another day in the life of the embattled former Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha that he will detest, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) arrested him at his office in Abuja over alleged money laundering.

The spokesperson of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, who confirmed the arrest, said it us true. “Okorocha has been arrested by our men”.
Although the reason for his arrest has not been officially disclosed by the anti-graft agency, the Senator reportedly failed to honour invitations by the agency.
Governor Hope Uzodinma had accused Okorocha of misappropriating state funds.
In February, the lawmaker accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of unleashing the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) against him.

Okorocha said the state government had not been able to prove corruption allegations against him and family in court.
“I was never a poor man before I became governor of Imo state. I came here, brought my children to invest, brought everybody to invest”, he had said.

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FCT Police Loses Operative, Launches Rescue Operation for Kidnapped Victims

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FCT Police Loses Operative, Launches Rescue Operation for Kidnapped Victims

The FCT Police Command has lost one of its gallant officers, Inspector Ambi John attached to Operation Puff Adder.
This was contained in a press release issued by ASP Yusuf Mariam
Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Police Command, Abuja.
The men of the Police command the statement indicated, had repelled multiple attacks by suspected kidnappers in the wee hours of Tuesday 13th April,2021 along Dankusa, Angwan-Zegele-Zuba axis.
The statement explained further that Adder had sustained fatal gunshot injuries during the operation and was rushed to the hospital where he died while receiving treatment.

The statement reads in part, “Following a distress call from Angwan Zegele, a joint team of Police Operatives from the Command and Operation Puff Adder responded promptly as they engaged the heavily armed hoodlums in a fierce gun battle.

However, it stated that the Command had launched a strategic operation to rescue four persons abducted from Dankusa still in the custody of the hoodlums who escaped into the forest bordering the FCT and Niger State. “Nonetheless, Operatives of the Command’s Anti-Kidnapping Squad have made some arrests in connection with the abduction.
“In view of the above, the Commissioner of Police CP. Bala Ciroma wishes to commiserate with the family of the officer who paid the supreme price in service to the Nation.
The command reiterated its determination to ensuring that all the victims are safely reunited with their families.
Furthermore, the Commissioner of Police reassured residents of the Command’s undeterred resolve to secure lives and property within the FCT.
He implored residents to report all suspicious movements, emergency or distress, through these some numbers that 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883.
He urged the public to report the conduct of Police Officers by calling the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) number :09022222352

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AESID to Police, DSS: Mop up illegal arms in circulation in Ebonyi

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AESID to Police, DSS: Mop up illegal arms in circulation in Ebonyi

Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has called on all the security agencies to urgently mop up all the illegal arms and ammunition in the hands of unauthorised persons, especially political thugs in the state.

The association revealed that it has gotten information on how some top politicians have shared illegal weapons for some political thugs to cause mayhem in the state.

In a statement released Tuesday in Abuja by the AESID President, Paschal Oluchukwu, urged the security agencies to step their game in protecting innocent citizens and opposition elements in Ebonyi state.

“We urge the new IGP to kindly investigate these allegations and not only recover such arms from such unauthorized citizens but also adequately protect the lives snd businesses of opposition leaders and members and indeed, all those opposition political parties in Ebonyi from the planned onslaught against them.

“We therefore urge the security agencies in the state to act professionally and protect all citizens of the state from the common internal and external aggressors cum attackers. For as we have always maintained, Ebonyi will yet exist beyond the over 700 days that Governor Umahi has to stay put in the Government House, Abakaliki.

“The Governor and his so-called ruling party should therefore learn to live, and let live and learn how to face governance and accountability to the people, not playing politics with every matter, no matter how delicate or life threatening there may be.”

The group said it condemn the recent view expressed on a national Television by a Commissioner for Border and Internal Security, Stanley Okoro, where he alleged blamed the worsening insecurity in the state on the opposition leaders.

“Like the proverbial bad carpenter who often blames the nails and never the hammer for all his woes, Okoro Emegha was only concerned about absolving his paymaster from the blames of insecurity in Ebonyi and setting up leaders of opposition for violent attacks from the agencies of government.

“AESID outrightly condemns this posture of a government that has only given Ebonyians the pains and agonies of blood-letting attacks since it claimed to have connected the state to the centre.”

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