The Coalition For Ukwa Leadership Accountability, COFULA, has alleged that the member representing the Ukwa East / Ukwa West Federal Constituency, Hon. Uzoma Nkem Abonta, misappropriated the sum of N1,418,000,000:00 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Eighteen Million Naira) meant for the Constituency between 2014 and 2022.
The amount, according to the Coalition, was released by the Federal Government for different projects under the Zonal Intervention Projects scheme.
The zonal intervention projects in Nigeria were introduced during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 to ensure equity in the allocation of projects sited in the Constituencies of State and Federal lawmakers by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In a statement signed by Dr. Chidi Nwankpa, Founder/Co-Convener and Comrade Kingsley Nna Okadigbo, Co-Convener, the Coalition has given the Federal Lawmaker 72 hours to present a detailed account and report of the zonal intervention projects.
When contacted, the Media Aide to Hon. Abonta, Engr. Iheanyichukwu Ogbuji, said that all zonal intervention projects are awarded by relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and supervised by them, adding that what his principal does is only to identify projects that will impact positively on the lives of his people.
He added that there are many constituency projects, handled by different contractors, standing to the credit of Hon.Abonta, ranging from the completed Police Area Command’s building, Ambulance for Obehie Health Centre, Toyota vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles and cash grants to constituents.
Other projects listed by the Media Aide are the renovation of classroom blocks, supply of medical equipments to health centres in the Ukwa East / Ukwa West Federal Constituency, and trainings on small and medium scale enterprises.
He said, “It is crystal clear that Hon Abonta obviously did work for the past 15 years. The 15 years are not wasted as erroneously stated by his detractors.
“For those who work for the Federal Government and their Agencies as contractors, it should be known that they are not given mobilisation until jobs or contracts are executed. Also there are attached retiring agencies who monitor these zonal intervention funds.”