–      Acquires filling stations across state

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works in the State, Engr Egbuka CE is once again in the news for the negative reasons.This time around  for many eye popping and suspicious properties he acquired when he was Director of Works in the same Ministry. 

It is alleged that it is because of his several sharp practices including the discovery of how he allegedly sold in very questionable circumstances some of the heavy duty machines and equipments acquired for IRROMA by the ex-governor Ikedi Ohakim administration. 

There are also reports that, as Director of Works under Rochas Okorocha, he had a pact with the then Commissioner of Works, who was equally controversial and allegedly fraudulent, Ichie Uche Best Mbanaso, who as Commissioner for Works floated a company, named Imo Construction Company with support of the then governor where he, Mbanaso doubled as General Manager while Engr Egbuka paraded himself as the only experienced engineer in the company, thus combining the role with that of the Director of Works in the Ministry of Works.

It was at that period that most of the projects referred to as China roads including the tunnels at Concord Hotel and Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) junctions along Port Harcourt Road Owerri were executed, before he was sidelined and relegated to the background as a result of his benefactor, Ichie Mbanaso’s fall from grace towards the end of Okorocha’s first tenure. Before then, Engr Egbuka had amassed so much stupendous wealth through Mbanaso china roads and bridges contracts.

It was also revealed that all the monies he allegedly acquired through several sharp practices, substandard projects were recycled and invested in oil marketing business, hence, he at the last count, is said to own over five operational filling stations across the state including the expansive Total filling station at Avu, along Port Harcourt road.Our source said,”apart from investing in gas and oil,he also invested in hospitality industry”.

When our reporter visited the Avu filling station, it was confirmed by the staff on duty, who simply identified himself as Emma, that the place is owned by the embattled Permanent Secretary, Egbuka who he said was there last Sunday to supervise the supply, evacuation and receipt of products by the filling station.

According to our source who spoke on condition of anonymity, we understand that “Engr Egbuka’s close friend and confidant, Bobby Dick, former Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Abia State, introduced him to the oil marketing business, hence his undue interest and interference in the matter between Bobby Dick’s hotel and and another, behind Central Bank building, as shown in the letter, dated 4th May, 2020, which Engr Egbuka wrote and personally signed on behalf of the honourable commissioner of the Ministry in a bid to harass and intimidate the management of the said hotel”.

Continuing, our source said, “Engr Egbuka would have been sacked from the civil service when his activities were investigated by the Rochas Okorocha government. It took the intervention of Okorocha’s elder sister, Mrs Geraldine Obinali with whom he worshipped at the Amakohia branch of Watchman Charismatic Ministry Owerri to save his job. He was however promoted to the position of Permanent Secretary by the Ihedioha administration”.

It was also gathered that aside Engr Egbuka, most of the Permanent Secretaries, Directors and other top civil servants in the state are multi millionaires because of their involvement in shady, obnoxious and corrupt practices “For instance, one of the past Chairmen of the Board of Internal Revenue, (namewitheld) is said to own over five high rising buildings in Owerri alone, while a Director at Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) Owerri is equally said to have amassed so much wealth since he joined the corporation after his school certificate examination and rose from the ranks, without working anywhere else.

It took Imo Broadcasting Corporation to train the Director at the university until he additionally acquired a law degree but rather than invest in improving the services of the establishment, he is known for highhandedness and inferiority complex against those who parade better credentials and pedigree than him.

Elsewhere, an Auditor General of Local Government Area is known to have invested his own wealth in Real Estate oversees while staff of Ministries of Lands are busy engaging in land racketeering and grabbing with those of Ministries of Finance involved in contract splitting and recycling of contract award documents for fresh payments.

Effort to reach Engr Ogbuka for reaction proved was unsuccessful as he outrightly refused to take his calls or reply text messages sent to his mobile phone line.He rather sent a message through a male staff of the ministry, threatening to deal decisively with our report should he go on with the report.