It’s no longer news how Nigerian politicians loot public funds to satisfy their selfish desires. Information reaching our news desk reveals how the former speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Mr Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu and his private company (WERDIS NIGERIA LIMITED) have taken criminal actions to convert Imo State Government Property (Asphalt Drum Mix Plant and Construction Equipment) to a personal property. Uwajimogu is the current Senator, representing Imo North in the National Assembly and battling Governor Rochas Okorocha, to stop him from imposing his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, as the next governor of the state.
SecretReporters has it that, on 18th February 2014, a petition was raised against Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu, and addressed to the then EFCC Chairman ( Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde ) with documented evidence but was discreetly swept under the carpet.
According to Samuuelson Ikenna Iwuoha who’s the petitioner, “following the emergence of Owelle Rochas Okorocha into office as the Governor of Imo State in 2011, the administration had strong intentions to pursue aggressive construction and rehabilitation of urban and rural roads respectively in the state. The report indicates that due to poor financial capability of the state, the administration could not achieve that goal through contract awards only. However, according to the report, the State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport had qualified personnel who could be utilized to work on the said roads, but the only setback to achieving the objectives was unavailability of Construction Equipment and Asphalt Drum Mix Plant.”
In that proceeding, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport wrote a letter (No. MOW/COMM/S.1/VI/55) to the State Governor through its then Commissioner, who was also the State Deputy Governor, in person of Jude Agbaso, on the 13th of October 2011 made known to him that after due deliberations, that the Imo State Tenders Board had approved that WERDIS NIGERIA LIMITED be awarded the contract to supply the required Construction Equipment and Asphalt Drum Mix Plant at the cost of N213,262,500.00 (Two Hundred and Thirteen Million,Two Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand Five Hundred Naira)only.
The petition has it that the Governor was therefore asked to release the stipulated amount of money to the Ministry of Works in payment for the supplies of the Construction Equipment and Asphalt Drum Mix Plant. Correspondingly, on that same 13th of October, 2011, Okorocha approved the release of the sum of N213,262,500.00 to WERDIS NIGERIA LIMITED in respect to the initial agreement to award the contract of supplying the construction equipment to WERDIS NIGERIA LIMITED.
“It will interest you to know that the approval of the letter in 2011 was endorsed by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, his then Deputy, Jude Agbaso who also doubled as commissioner for Works and as well as the Imo State Accountant General, Eche Ezenna George”, stated Iwuoha, and the amount was given to the company.
However, investigations carried out by our reporter revealed that WERDIS NIG. LTD breached the contract agreement by refusing to supply the proposed equipment to the State Government through the Ministry of Works, after a huge amount of money was released to WERDIS NIG LTD. Instead of supplying the equipment rather, WERDIS NIG. LTD used the money approved to it for the supplies, to build a private Asphalt Drum Mix Plant and Construction Equipment, which is located at Onitsha road behind Coca-cola Plant Owerri- Imo State.
Findings revealed that WERDIS NIG.LTD is owned by Uwajumogu, but using his immediate younger brother, Mr. Nnadozie Uwajumogu as a front, posing as the manager.
The petitioner noted that all attempts and efforts made so far to recover the Construction Equipment and Asphalt Drum Mix Plant from the Uwajumogus have proven abortive.
Ironically, the petitioner was a former aide to the Senator when he was Speaker.