By Kenneth Atavti
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP) yesterday granted bail to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
He was arrested late on Sunday evening at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on his way from Lagos, aboard an Air Peace aircraft, marked: P47324.
A source at the SPIPRPP said he was allowed on bail on health ground and upon his promise to report back Today after a meeting with his doctor.
Uzodinma was picked up on Sunday at about 820pm by operatives of the SPIPRPP over his alleged failure to honour the panel’s several invitations in relation to its investigation of the Senator (representing Orlu Zone, Imo State) on allegation of economic sabotage,
It was learnt that Uzodinma is being investigated over his company’s alleged failure to execute a contract of $12 million for the dredging of Calabar channel awarded by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA).
A senior official of the SPIPRPP confided in DayBreak yesterday that Uzodinma was released on “bail last night (Sunday nght) on humanitarian ground and asked him to report back today (Monday) at 10am.
“When he did not come, my operatives laid siege in his residence. Then, he later pleaded with us to allow him see his doctor and report tomorrow (Tuesday).
Uzodinma is also linked with other cases, including a case over his alleged failure to disclose his assets, as reflected in a two count charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/107/2018, now pending before Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The Orlu serving Senator and his firms are equally involved in a pending criminal case before the Upper Area Court, Arab Road, Kubwa, Abuja.
The case was initiated via a criminal complaint filed by a company, Chimex Ventures Ltd and its promoter, Chima Akuzie, who claimed that the Senator issued them a N200 million UBA dud (bounced cheque).
Akuzie stated that Uzodinma sub-contracted to his company, a shoreline protection project in Koko, Delta State, which he (Uzodinma) allegedly got from the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and that the dud cheque was intended as payment their successful execution of the project.
On October 29, Judge Abdulwahab Muhammed referred the case to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further action after Uzodinma (the defendant) failed to attend court to answer to the complaint.
The judge’s referral letter, sighted by Nigerian pilot, has as its reference number: FCT/JD/AC/ABJ/CORR/EFCC/VOL1/2018. It was addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC.
Part of it reads: “Re-Criminal complaint against Senator Hope Uzodinma, Smiec Engineering and Chemical Construction Company Limited, and Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited for criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and cheating.
“The above subject matter, with case number: CR/358/2018 between Chimex Ventures Ltd & 1 other and Senator Hope Uzodinma & 2 others, refers.
“With reference to the above subject matter, I am directed to inform you and refer the above matter to your office for proper, thorough and discreet comprehensive investigation in line with Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
“Please find attached copy of the complaint for your information and further action.”