–         I’m Not A Director In Zigreat-Uju

The dust raised by the multi-billion naira contract scam that was linked to Zigrate construction company and some officials of the defunct Rochas Okorocha administration, is yet to settle, as Frank Nwaete, an aide of the incumbent lawmaker for Ohaji, Egbema, Oguta federal constituency of Imo State, has accused the immediate past lawmaker for the federal constituency, Hon Kingsley Uju, of complicity.

Nwaete, in a statement he issued recently, alleged Hon Eugene Dibiagwu presently on the run to evade arrest by anti graft agencies for his involvement in the shabbily executed new Imo State Police Command headquarters at Avu, in Owerri West Local Government Area.

According to Nwaete, “on Tuesday May, 2024, two (2) bulldozers were deployed by the 3r administration of Distinguished Senator Hope Odidika Uzodimma (Onwa Oyoko), at the supposed new Imo Police Command Headquarters, Avu!

The mission of the two (2) bulldozers was to demolish the gigantic edifice that was constructed during the Sen Rochas Anayo Ethelbert Okorocha Rescue Mission administration!, that remained inhabited till the date of demolition! 

The news today is that a whooping sum of one billion naira (#1 billion naira), is said to have been expended on the project.

The one billion naira payment, has now been traced to Kingsley Chima Uju, as he nominated a “company” he has vested interest in!

Kingsley Chima Uju and his “company”, were only a conduit pipe to siphon the one billion naira, in which not up to #10 million was spent on the building, which failed all engineering and architectural tests, conducted on it by building experts! 

Recall, that towards the twilight of former Governor Rochas Okorocha tenure, an aide of Pascal Obi, who was then his Principal Secretary, popularly called Otigbu Inyinya was said to be the General Manager and signatory to the contracts awarded to Zigrate Construction company, which amounted to billions of naira with its head office at Ubele,Ideato South.

Some of the contracts included the Imo Police Command new headquarters at Avu at the cost of N10.3Billion which covers for phase 1 and phase 2, the Prison located close to the Police headquarters that is now collapsing as a result of dilapidation occasioned by poor and substandard job, the office of the Ministry of Niger Delta.

It was also gathered that Zigrate, before it’s operation in Imo State, did not have record of large scale contract execution. Yet, the Okorocha administration, curiously awarded it 10 contracts, all of which were signed by Dr Pascal Obi, who was then his Principal Secretary and immediate past lawmaker for Ideato North and Ideato Souths Federal constituency.

The contracts were also said to have been awarded at extra-ordinarily high costs. For instance, the total cost of the 10 contracts awarded to Zigrate was N20b comprising N683m for the construction of a Community Hospital at Ogboko, in Ideato South Local Government Area, where former governor,Okorocha hails from, Niger Delta corporate office, along Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, N611m, a campus of the Imo State University (IMSU) at Onuimo LGA, N2.79b, among others.

The surprising aspect of it all, according to a source who pleaded anonymity, is that, “most of these contracts were not executed, yet the monies involved were not accounted for, while those that were executed failed all the quality control tests performed by qualified experts in building including Architects, Civil and Structural Engineers.

When contacted, Kingsley Uju, who reportedly, is in the eye of the storm, said, “I am not directly or indirectly involved in any of the contracts awarded to Zigrate Construction Company. I am also not a Director or a member of the Board of Zigrate”.

The former lawmaker said those linking him with alleged scam are detractors and enemies of his upward mobility. He also wondered why anybody should hastily disseminate such false and malicious information without conducting thorough investigation.