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Ecological Fund: Enugu Community Raises Alarm Over Attempt To Commission Non-Executed Road Project

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Indigenes of Oma- Eke village, in Eke Community, Udi council area of Enugu state, South- East Nigeria, on Thursday staged a protest in the locality over attempt by officials of the Federal government from the Ecological Trust fund (ETF) office to commission a non-executed road project in the area, describing such action as mother of all fraud and corruption.

The Protestants, made up of young and old, people, who displayed placards with several inscriptions, said it is unbelievable to them that federal government officials from the Ecological Trust fund unit of the office of the Secretary to government of the federation (SGF) could contemplate coming to Oma-Eke village to commission a non-executed road project.  

African Examiner reports that the incumbent Nigeria’s Minister of foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON),  Mr. Osita Okechukwu, hails from same Eke Community.

Checks by our Correspondent revealed that the said road project which stretches across Enugu- Eke, Ogui, Uno- Eke, Eke – Obodo , Amankwo and Oma- Eke was duly awarded to Flab engineering construction company by the federal government  at the cost of over 400 million naira, but was alledgdly diverted to other areas outside the stipulated villages by an unnamed serving  top federal government official close to the locality. 

The award of the 3.8 km road project to the construction company followed a written request made by some indigens of the Oma- Eke village to the Ecological fund department under the SGF’s office after which it was awarded via a letter dated 8th, May 2019.

However, why some jobs are ongoing in the other villages that are part of the road project, no construction work has been done at the Oma- Eke end.  

The natives of the area said they were shocked when they got the information that federal government officials from the Ecological Trust fund office were coming to Oma- Eke on Thursday to Commission a road project that has not even commenced.

Our Correspondent who was among the Journalists that went round the said village, observed that nothing was on ground to indicate that the construction firm was ready to begin work soonest, not to talk of commissioning.  

Members of the community had displayed placards with inscriptions such as “Buhari must hear this “Corruption Unlimited; “ICPC where are you; EFCC where are you; Fraud Unlimited; Public Procurement Act Crucified,” among others.

Speaking with newsmen at his palace on the development, traditional ruler of Eke Community who hails from Oma- Eke clan, Igwe Harold Chiwendu Onuoha, describe the attempt of coming to commission a road project that was not executed as a big sham.

He said to the best of his knowledge he is not aware of any road projected executed by the Ecological Trust fund, not to talk of completion at Oma- Eke.. 

 Also addressing Journalists during the protest, Chairman of Oma- Eke town union, Chief Kenneth Ogudu, expressed shock that certain unseen fellows were trying to perpetrate fraud with the said road project, adding that the people would not allow that happen. 

He, therefore, called on president Mohammadu Buhari and other relevant anti-corruption agencies to step into the matter, with a view to unraveling the truth.

In his reaction an Indigene of the area, and Enugu based legal practitioner, Barrister Godwin Onwusi, stated that the people would not allow those behind  such monumental fraud to get away with it, adding that the natives  must get to the root of the matter.

According to him, the people of Oma- Eke, will not hesitate to seek legal action against all those involved in this matter including the government agencies  if the needful is not done.

“Our people are highly agitated over this issue, imagine, government officials   coming to commission a road project that was not executed in Oma- Eke village. Let them come and show us, or the media where they executed the road project in our village” he stated. 

Barr. Onwusi, hinted that the people had already petition office of the Attorney General of the federation  and Minister of Justice, Director General of Bureau for public procurement in the presidency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Independent Corrupt practices and other Related offences Commission ICPC among other relevant over the matter.

He added that the people want the relevant government agencies, to carry out a thorough investigation on the highly scandalous act. “The contract paper was very clear, it said the project must be firm, fixed and not transferable.  

Onwusi, aligned himself with the position of the natives that the Attorney General should use his office “to ensure that the contractor is made to execute the project or, pay back the money paid to him or, show where he executed the contract. 

He noted that nothing has been done in any of the roads mentioned in the contract paper, stressing that such act was against the public procurement act.

It was also gathered that probably due to fear, of uncertainty, the Ecological fund officials who had early scheduled to Commission the non-executed Oma- Eke road project by 12 noon, had tactically shelved the idea, as they avoided the locality completely and went to other areas.

A middle-aged woman, Mrs. Ndika Christiana and retired federal civil servant, from the area, Chief Donatus Oforka, had in their separate interviews condemned the action in its entirety, saying those behind the corrupt act should be apprehended and made to face the music.


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