Former Umuahia Council Boss Bags Two Years In Jail For Corruption

Judge-Hammer

An Abia State High Court sitting in Umuahia has slammed a two year jail term on former chairman of Umuahia local government area, Goddy Kanu, and his political associate, Ephraim Iroakazi.

Both men were charged to court in 2010 by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC. on a 10-count charge bordering on abuse of office and criminal conspiracy.

Kanu was specifically arraigned for “conferring an unfair advantage upon an associate, engagement in a criminal conspiracy, failure to report the solicitation of gratification and other sundry offences.”

According to information provided in a press release issued by the ICPC’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, prosecution counsel told the court that Kanu circumvented due process in the award of contracts for the purchase of vehicles for the council and also allowed the supply of fairly used ones instead of brand new ones for which the contractor was paid.

He was also accused of awarding the contract to Iroakazi, described as his political “godfather” and “associate.”

It was gathered that in 2008, the Umuahia local government through its executive arm approved the purchase of three vehicles for N8.5 million on the condition that it would be done by the Motor Transport Officer of the council by direct labour.

Contrary to the proviso, Kanu, who was then chairman of the council, awarded the contract to Iroakazi even though he was not an employee of the council or a registered contractor.






     

     

    Kanu was also accused of circumventing due process in the award of another contract for the supply of 20 other vehicles to the council to the tune of N60 million by ensuring that Iroakazi got the job.
    However, instead of purchasing 20 new vehicles, Iroakazi supplied 18 fairly used ones at the cost of N30 million.

    Investigators discovered of the balance of N30 million, that the former chairman collected N20 million while he used the remaining N10 million to bribe councillors

    Delivering judgement, Justice Onouha Ogwe sentenced Kanu to two years imprisonment on each of the counts preferred against him, with the terms running concurrently or an option of N 3million fine.

    The judge also sentenced Iroakazi to one year imprisonment on each of the  counts preferred against him and ruled that the terms run concurrently with an option of a fine of N2 million.

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