$12m contract: Uzodinma to face panel today

All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has been directed to appear before the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP) on Tuesday, in connection with a $12 million contract for the dredging of Calabar channel.

The senator was arrested on Sunday night at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by operatives of the panel for the failure of his company to execute the said contract, which was awarded by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Uzodinma was, however, allowed to go home and directed to report to the panel on Monday at 10 am, but he failed to show up.

Irked by the development, operatives of the panel stormed his Abuja residence yesterday, where he was re-arrested.

Confirming the incident, chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, said Uzodinma was arrested on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja from Lagos on Sunday night, and had been released on bail.

“We arrested him yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for the failure of his company to execute a contract of $12m for the dredging of Calabar channel. However, we allowed him to go and report to our office today (Monday) by 10am since we do not have a detention facility.

“He agreed to make himself available and we allowed him to go. But surprisingly, we waited for him but he did not show up.

“We drove to his Abuja residence today and re-arrested him but he pleaded with us that he is a high blood pressure patient and that he will make himself available to our office tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10 am. So, we left him with the hope that he will honour the appointment,” Obono-Obla said.

Meanwhile, Uzodinma has accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of sponsoring the story of his arrest, saying that there was no iota of truth in the report.

Director of media and special duties of the Hope Uzodinma Campaign Organization, Declan Emelumba, in a statement, accused Okorocha of planting the story, stressing that the governor and his cohorts are desperately aiming at tarnishing the image of the senator before the Imo electorate.

He said that Okorocha has refused to come to grips with the reality that his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, will not be his successor in 2019, and that he is, therefore, out to damage APC and its governorship candidate in Imo.

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