Stories from GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
The impeachment drama between the Imo State Assembly and the Deputy Governor, Chief Jude Agbaso, continued yesterday as the deputy governor has apparently stayed away from his office and his official residence to avoid being served with an impeachment notice, leaving the state Assembly in a dilemma. According Acho Ihim, chairman, House Committee on Information, the deputy governor had neither shown up in his office nor in his official residence making it difficult to serve him notice of impeachment unanimously voted by the House.
The House, he said, had resolved to serve him through other means; electronic and print media and pasting such at his official residence after a plenary session, which held yesterday. He noted that ever since the indictment of Agbaso, he had hardly been found around his office and his official residence. Owing to the abandonment of some road projects in the state, the Joint Committee on State and Local Government Projects led by Stan Dara, member of Imo State House of Assembly representing Orsu Local Government Area in their investigation discovered that Agbaso, the deputy governor who was also then the commissioner for works, was fingered in a N458 million bribery scam. Acting on the report of the Project Monitoring Committee, the Imo House of Assembly set up a Special Adhoc Committee whose Chairman is Iwunze for further investigation.
According to the report by the Special Adhoc Committee, Mr. Joseph Dina of J-PROS International Nigeria Limited in his testimony confirmed having given Agbaso a total sum of N458 million on request through a text message to two accounts domiciled in both GT Bank and UBA. The report further revealed that Agbaso lied severally before owning up. First, he denied ever inviting Mr. Dina of J-PROS to his house but when Dina stood his ground and mentioned to have bought a blue designer Porsche wine from London for him and how Agbaso sent his security personnel to bring him to his MCC Road residence, Agbaso owned up.
The drama was further heightened with the denial of demanding and receiving any gratification before Dina revealed the phone number with which the deputy governor made the request and the account numbers 08033444421 and the payment as follows: Three brothers Concept Limited, Bank: GT Bank Plc with Account No: 0045630151 with sort code 058266511. Amount paid is N325,000,000 in February 2012; Another N133,000,000 was paid in the month of June to IHSAN BDC Limited, Account no 1015334698 with sort code, 033153351, UBA Plc, 27, Wharf Road, Apapa, Lagos State.