Ecological Fund: Chime, Others May Account For N2bn

Sullivan Chime


AS the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) beams its searchlight on the activities of former Governor Sullivan Chime, there are indications that he and three other members of his cabinet may be called upon to account for N2bn.

The sum, which is part of the first tranche of N4bn owed the state, as part of its share of an ecological fund, was said to have developed wings after its release to the government.

At the moment, no less than three petitions alleging massive graft and fund diversions, including those from former Peoples Democratic Party auditor, Mr. Raymond Nnaji; Save Enugu Group; and one Ken Eneh, are awaiting investigations by the anti-graft agency.

Though the former Chief of Staff, Government House, under the Chime administration, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo, and the former Managing Director of the State Housing Corporation and PDP Chairman, Mr. Ikeje Asogwa, are currently undergoing interrogation at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, there is no indication that their brief includes the contentious ecological fund disappearance.

An operative in the EFCC, however, confided in The Guardian that investigation into allegations of massive looting and diversion of public fund in Enugu will take place in stages, pointing out that the commission may be forced to locate choice property and investment in some neighbouring countries including Cameroun, Ghana, South Africa and United Arab Emirates.

The source disclosed a pattern of laundering public fund through real estate deals, stressing that 11 members of the immediate past administration may be invited to disclose the source of fund for the construction of residential and commercial buildings in Enugu, notably at the former Zoological Gardens, New Haven Extension, old GRA and environs.

“There is also the use of fronts and relations in the illegal acquisition of some of these property and investments. With the help of new technology, we are surely going to unmask the widespread graft that took place there in the recent past,” he stated.

He declined comment on plans to use the former Chief of Staff as prosecution witness, pointing out that the Commission was being careful in such methods, so as not to create escape routes for major characters.

When contacted for comments, the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Ewuajeren, said he was in the thick of serious meeting, enjoining the reporter to call back, even as former Governor Chime did not respond to SMS sent to two of his mobile phones for talk on what transpired during his administration, at the time of filing this report.

Efforts by incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to stave off investigations of his predecessor, so as not to distract his administration, seems fruitless, as many of the petitioners and those yet to approach the EFCC insist on “recovering the patrimony of Enugu State”.

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  • Imea

    Without pre-emptiing the work of EFCC it is sad that the only governor who actually WORKED for Enugu state for decades, paid salaries on time, developed Enugu with good roads, brought Shoprite and created employment, happens to be the one that all these groups are crying out against. Is this not a question of sour grapes. Some of them need to visit Imo, Abia and PortHarcourt to know what embelzment looks like.

    • ndiuno

      Good talk my dear. They are chasing shadow

  • Joseph

    Let EFCC do its work without witch hunting

  • emmanuel kalu

    Do people get proven guilty before the EFCC start taking their property? i am glad this agency is awake, but this is the agency you use after the fact. meaning they go after the people after the crime has being done. where are the agencies supposed to police this people. lack of transparency in nigeria would continue to fuel the corruption.