An Abuja court has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate criminal complaint made against Hope Uzodinma, representing Orlu District, Imo State at the National Assembly.
Abdulwahab Muhammed of the Grade 1 Area Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Arab Road, Kubwa, Abuja, made the order following Uzodinma’s alleged consisted failure to attend court to answer to the complaint made against him and his firms by Chitex Ventures Ltd and Chima Akuzie, who claimed that the Senator issued them a N200 million UBA dud (bounced cheque).
Akuzie claimed the Uzodinma subcontracted 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.
The referral of the case to the EFCC was conveyed through a letter dated October 29 this year, was received by the EFCC, Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu on November 6.
A copy of the letter, sighted by The Nation on Friday, 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.”
The court’s decision to refer the case to the EFCC was taken on October 29 when the case came up, but neither Uzodinma, nor his lawyer was in court.
The court, on September 18 this year, issued a bench warrant against Uzodinma and ordered his production by security agencies on September 25 this year, on the grounds that he allegedly failed to attend court to answer to the criminal complaint pending against him and his companies – Smiec Engineering and Chemical Construction Company Limited, and Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited.
On September 25, the court granted a request by lawyer to the complainants, Tosin Ojaomo for the publication of a public summons against Uzodinma following the failure of security agencies to produce him despite a pending arrest warrant issued against him.
When the case came up again on October 29, Uzodinma was still absent in court, following which Judge Muhammad elected to refer the case to the EFCC for investigation and further necessary actions.