Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority ECTDA has accused a special committee set up by Enugu State House of Assembly to investigate the dealings of the agency of extortion.
The State House of Assembly committee on Public Accounts and Anti-corruption which is chaired by Chinedu Nwamba had invited the agency to appear before it on September 8, 2021, an invitation which according to the agency was honoured.
In a press statement made available to journalists in Enugu, the spokesman of the agency, Mr Gideon Eze alleged that the delegation sent to represent the agency at the meeting were turned back by the Chairman of the committee for appearing before it empty handed.
Part of the statement also indicated that another invitation was sent to the agency by the committee to appear before it on September 16 but before the date of the hearing, the committee went ahead to denigrate the person of Mr Josef Onoh, the Executive Chairman of ECTDA through false publications in the media.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) was brought to the media sensation of a Special Committee constituted by the Enugu state House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-Corruption under the Chairmanship of Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, and we hereby make the following clarifications:
“An invitation of the committee was received by ECTDA on September 8, 2021 which the agency honoured on September 15, 2021. Even though the Committee’s invitation did not follow the appropriate channel of invitation, our Chairman insisted that ECTDA goes to hounour the invitation, stating that he was a member representing Enugu North State Constituency, 18 years ago, during which he was the Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation. Staff of the Agency that went to honour the invitation were however turned back by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, who told them that they came ‘empty-handed.’
“On September16 2021, ECTDA received another invitation to appear before the committee on September 21, but alias, the committee could not wait for the appointed date before it rushed to the media and peddled falsehood. The agency was therefore embarrassed to read in the media, the name calling and character assassination of our Executive chairman, Dr. Josef Onoh under the instruction of Hon. Chinedu Nwamba.
“The ECTDA will not sit and watch the House of Assembly under the misdirection of Hon. Chinedu Nwamba damage the long-standing reputation of our Chairman and that of the Capital territory. One of the greatest challenges faced in ECTDA is the different attempts by various committees of the State House of Assembly to extort this agency and which their proofs are in our record.
“ECTDA is not into Land Allocations and Acquisition but an enforcement agency that was enacted to enforce compliance among related agencies, hence the subject matter which the House Committee is seeking for does not fall within the purview of the ECTDA.
“We are worried that the House of Assembly never presented this agency with any form of petition or document for us to understand and know what exactly they are investigating in the capital Territory.
“We therefore urge the general public to disregard the opprobrious publication of the Hon. Chinedu Nwamba committee against the ECTDA and its Chairman as this agency will not be distracted in its discharge of her duties. We urge the Speaker of the state House of Assembly to call Hon. Nwamba to order so as to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the House.
“Please take note that further acts of blackmail, harassment and intimidation will no longer be condoned by the agency. The agency should not be pushed to release damaging documents that could compromise the integrity of the state House of Assembly because a contaminated egg should not allowed to infest its rot on every other egg in a basket.
“Let it be recalled that the House Committee had in July this year carried out similar oversight function in the not too distant past where inordinate demands were made but resisted by the agency. This same Hon. Chinedu Nwamba then reported to our Chairman that members of his committee were not happy with what they got from the agency and requested for financial inducement.
“The Agency has no appropriation for the types of outrageous financial demands that Nwamba and his colleagues make and let it be clear that by the law establishing the ECTDA, the Agency is under the office of the Governor and it’s only answerable to His Excellency. The Agency will resist as much as it can to be drawn into cheap blackmails being orchestrated by Hon. Chinedu Nwamba.
“Let it be also known that Enugu East local Government Council area is the greatest perpetrators of the land fraud with high profile indigenes involved in land racketeering which prompted the EFCC to create a special land fraud unit based on the petitions emanating from victims duped in the area, yet the the Enugu East Local Government Council was not invited by the Special Committee, nor mentioned in the committee’s skewed publication.
“Finally, this Agency urges the state House of Assembly to join hands with the ECTDA to eradicate the Youth Empowerment levies, prevailing in the local government areas, mostly within the Capital Territory, which has remained a torn in the flesh of developers in the state.