Umahi dismisses Ebonyi FADAMA coordinator over multiple financial crimes

By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

Barley 24hrs two auditor-generals were suspended in Ebonyi state, the governor, David Umahi, has dismissed the state coordinator, of FADAMA 111, Dr. Cletus Nwakpu.

Nwakpu’s sacked was announced Wednesday during a virtual state executive council meeting, presided over by the governor who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Umahi disclosed that Nwakpus’ suspension came following a report presented by the state Fiscal Responsibility Commission, which indicted him of financial misappropriation and other acts against the oath of office.

He directed Secretary to the State government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala to take over the office in acting capacity.

He ordered the state Head of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, to discipline Nwakpu as a civil servant through civil service rules.

The governor further gave the Fiscal Responsibility Commission seven days to recover all the monies from Dr Nwakpu.

He charged the Commission to petition the EFCC to take over the matter; and also prosecute Nwakpu if he fails to remit the embezzled funds within the expiration of the seven days.

The report reads: “Dr Cletus Nwakpu, directed the opening of an account with the name of Ebonyi State FADAMA Production Cluster with Polaris Bank PLC, formerly called Sky Bank PLC and the project account has signatories and which money contributed by the farmers as captured in 2007 FADAMA Projects were deposited contrary to the financial regulation guiding the implementation of FADAMA project.

“That Dr Cletus Nwakpu did not release to the farmers the complete Agricultural inputs which they paid for and has failed to refund the payment so made.

“That Dr Cletus Nwakpu directed some parts of FADAMA office to collect about ninety million naira (#90,000,000) being for the beneficiary contribution levy made by the farmers in cash contrary to the requirement that every beneficiary contributes into individual farmers’ production group account.

“The total sum of twelve million six hundred and ten thousand only (#12,610,000.00), two million six hundred and ten thousand naira only(#2,610,000.00) paid by farmers for advisory services of the 2017 FADAMA Project was not compiled for the designated purpose.

“That the total sum of thirteen million six hundred and fifty thousand naira only(#13,650,000.00) approved by Dr Cletus Nwakpu for the payment to the two resourced persons for capacity building for the farmers was not actually spent for the purpose and there was no capacity building as claimed.

“That the regulation and guideline for the procurement of Agricultural inputs, selection of service provider, particularly for advisory service and capacity building for 2017-2019 FADAMA Project/Program were not compiled by Dr Cletus Nwakpu.

“That the sum of ninety-one thousand naira (#91,000) was paid for one unit of rice machine but was neither supplied nor the amount refunded to the farmers.

“That because of the failure of the said coordinating office to comply with the approval regulation and procedures, one hundred and eighty-two million naira (#182,000,000) being 50% beneficial contribution this year and another 90% International Development Agency(ICA) counterpart fund for the advisory service fee for 2017 was not paid to Ebonyi State Government by International Development Agency Fund.

“That Dr Cletus Nwakpu initiated the arrest of Mr Anthony Nwankwo, the Project Accountant on the said day that he (Anthony Nwankwo), was invited by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to testify to the matter. This arrest followed an earlier arrest of Mr Cyprian Iziogo, the Project Procurement Officer.”

Briefing journalists after the virtual meeting, the SSG, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, told journalists that the state shall commence distribution of COVID-19 Palliatives on Saturday July 18 , 2020.

He said that the distribution shall be at the political ward level at the supervision of stakeholders in the area who will take responsibility if anything goes wrong.

Ugbala explained that the Palliatives were donated by the federal government, NGOs and good spirited individuals.

Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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