Posted by News Express | 12 March 2013 | 3,991 times
The days of Sir Jude Agbaso as deputy governor of Imo State, South-East Nigeria, appear to be numbered following a disclosure yesterday by the state House of Assembly that it had evidence that he stole N458 million.
The disclosure contradicts claims of innocence by Agbaso and the allegation that he is being witch-hunted by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
In a statement issued yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, Hon. (Dr.) Acho Ihim, Chairman of the House Committee on Information, disclosed that they started probing Agbaso after Mr. Joseph Dina, Managing Director of the construction firm J-Pros International Ltd., claimed that his company abandoned a major road project because it was starved of funds by the deputy governor, who allegedly demanded and collected the sum of N458 million out of the mobilisation fee from him.
The statement said that “in the cause of Interaction and investigation, J-Pros International Ltd (Mr Joseph Dina -it's Managing Director) confessed that they abandoned their site because the Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbasso demanded and collected the sum of N458 million only from him.”
Hon. Ihim said the special committee thereafter invited the deputy governor, who doubles as the Commissioner for Works, and found enough evidence of “collaboration.”
The committee chairman disclosed that the indictment of the embattled deputy governor followed due process pursuant to Section 188 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and after a resolution of the house accepting the report of a special committee that investigated Agbaso.
Insisting that deputy governor was duly indicted, the committee chairman said: “It is therefore mischievous, sacrilegious and cheap blackmail for anybody or indeed group of persons to try to divert attention from the real issues at stake.”
The statement, a copy of which is in the possession of News Express, denied that the impeachment move against Sir Agbaso was in any way linked to permutations on the 2015 general elections, explaining that it was in pursuant of the resolve of the house to stamp out corruption from all facets of the state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the travails of His Excellency, Sir Jude Agbaso has nothing to do with 2015 rivalry, ethnic or zonal politics and indeed whipping up undue sentiments,” Hon. Ihim stated.
•Photo: Embattled Imo Deputy Governor Jude Agbaso.
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