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Alleged N458m bribe: Jude Agbaso is innocent – EFCC



The controversial impeachment of the former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Ikechukwu Agbaso early this year for allegedly receiving N458 million bribe from the Managing Director of JPROS International Nig Ltd, Mr. Joseph Dina may have been conjured up.

Nine months after the controversial impeachment, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after a thorough investigation has declared that Sir Agbaso is innocent of the allegation after all.

Agbaso was hurriedly impeached by the Imo State House of Assembly in February this year following the decision of a seven-man probe panel inaugurated by the State Chief Judge, Justice Benjamin Njemanze.

He was accused of demanding and receiving a bribe of N458 million from JPROS which was awarded a contract by the Imo State Government for the construction of Warehouse/Orlu Road Junction, Odunze Street, Aba Road and Old Nekede Road all within Owerri metropolis.

The Deputy Governor who also doubled as Commissioner for Works denied the allegation and made a formal request to the EFCC in March, requesting the commission to investigate the road contracts awarded at the sum of N1.5 billion  to JPROS and the purported bribe  Joseph Dina gave him as the then Deputy Governor and Commissioner of Works. After nine months of investigation, EFCC  has finally cleared Sir Agbaso.

In a letter dated November 27, 2013 and addressed to Sir Jude Agbaso, the Commission said there was no evidence to suggest that you (Sir Agbaso) benefited from the contract.

The letter signed by Olaolu Adegbite, MFR, Director of Operations, said Joseph Dina admitted to the anti-graft agency that he never gave any money to Sir Agbaso.

EFCC said that following its findings, it may take legal actions to bring those involved in the allegation and road contracts to justice.

The letter titled: “Re-Formal Request For Investigation Of Mr. Joseph Dina of JPROS International Nigeria Ltd, a Construction Company located at No. 11 Umezuruike Street, Opposite Umezuruike Hospital, Owerri, Imo State” reads:

“We refer to your letter dated 21st March 2013 on the above subject and hereby provide our findings so far into the case.

“Road contracts for the sum of one and a half billion Naira awarded to JPROS International Nig. Ltd was alleged to have engendered fraudulent bribe payments of N458 million by the Managing Director of JPROS, one Joseph Dina to you as the then Deputy Governor and Commissioner  for Works.

“In furtherance of the investigation, evidence adduced from interview of key officials of Imo State Government and other important witnesses, as well as documents obtained from relevant financial institutions, confirmed that the sum of N1,305,000,000.00 was paid to JPROS to execute the Warehouse-Orlu Road Junction, Odunze Street, Aba Road and Old Nekede Road projects within Owerri metropolis before mobilization to the sites.


“The total sum of $5,538,830.00 USD was found to have been remitted to the personal accounts of Dina in Dubai and Lebanon.  There is no single evidence so far that suggested that you benefited from the funds.

“In his statement to the Commission on 28th March 2013, Dina revealed that he never gave any money to you or any other official of the State Government over the contract, which are yet to be fully executed as at the last visit of our officers in April 2013.

“The Commission’s legal department is working on the case file with a view to taking appropriate legal action, please.”

Reacting to the EFCC findings, Chief Martin Agbaso, elder brother to Sir Jude Agbaso said he received the news with mixed feelings. First, he was happy that his brother has been cleared of the alleged bribe-taking.

However, he was sad that “a man can sit down in his office with his bunch of crooks and set-up such a kangaroo process just to destroy a man who has not done anything.”

He said from day one, he knew that his brother was innocent of the allegation and had said at that time that he would do everything within his power to get to the crux of the matter, knowing that his brother, like any Agbaso, cannot steal.

The APGA strongman expressed regret that the Imo State Governor, allowed a Lebanese journeyman to run away with a whopping N1.3billion belonging to the people of Imo State.



USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital



Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council



Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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