Nigerian Senator Utazi Finally Distributes N117 Million Constituency Funds to avoid prosecution

Gbeleyi Abayomi

Senator Chukwuka Utazi, representing Enugu-North, has distributed items meant for constituency projects in his district. This happened following the discovery by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that items meant for constituents were kept in house.

The lawmaker, who had refused to distribute the items to his constituents for over a year, is doing so now in the company of officials of ICPC. The senator, distributed transformers, grinding machines, tricycles, and motorcycles, according to a Punch report.

Senator Utazi, who was the chairman of anti- corruption committee in the 8th senate once boasted of being an anti-corruption champion and carried out oversight over the ICPC, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other anti-graft agencies.

However, the ICPC said on Sunday the discovery of the constituency items was made during its Constituency Projects Tracking exercise.

The anti- graft agency said the items covered by this amount and recovered from the legislator were 168 and 51 numbers of motorcycles and tricycles respectively.

“They were discovered to be stashed away in a compound in Mkpologu town of Uzo-Nwani Local Government Area, believed to be owned by the senator,” the ICPC stated.

The agency said it recovered 203 grinding machines and another 60 motorcycles and five transformers in the compound which had been procured under another constituency project.

The anti-graft agency subsequently impounded all the items and sealed the senator’s compound.

The ICPC said the tricycles, motorcycles and grinding machines were meant to be distributed to the lawmaker’s constituents to empower them as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to alleviate poverty.

“The senator has pledged to the ICPC that they would be distributed to beneficiaries on Tuesday, August 6, 2019,” the commission had said.

The ICPC findings indicated clearly that the contract for the procurement of the items was awarded on 23rd January 2018, under the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the senator’s constituency projects.

Some residents had, however, faulted the ICPC’s approach, insisting that Utazi should have been arrested for diverting constituency items.

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