… petitions screening committee, insists on implementation of IMSU white paper
The controversy elicited by the ambition of Prince Alex Mbata, the Ngwoma, Obube born C.E.O of ABM Global and former Pro-chancellor of Imo State University during Rochas Okorocha’s tenure as governorr of Imo state, to secure the Owerri zone senatorial ticket on the platform of the All Progressive Congress APC, has assumed a different dimension, as a human rights group, known as Every Child Education Advancement Foundation, ECEAF has threatened to seek redress in court, if Prince Alex Mbata under any circumstance, secures the ticket he is desperately seeking.
The group, stated this in a petition dated May 5, 2022, addressed to the screening committee of the APC, Imo state chapter, through their lawyer, N.O Chukwuezi and Co, of No.100 Okigwe Road, Owerri.
The petition captioned, “The indictment of Prince Alex Mbata by the recently published Imo state Government White Paper on Imo State University,Owerri, stated that, “We are solicitors to the Incorporated Trustees of Every Child Education and Advancement Foundation (ECEAF) of No. 47 Okigwe Road, Owerri, Imo State who we shall hereinafter refer to as “our clients” and on whose mandate and instructions we write you this letter.
“Our instruction shows that Prince Alex Mbata was the Pro-Chancellor of Imo State University sometime ago under the administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha. At the end of his tenure as Pro-Chancellor, a Visitation Panel was set up to investigate the affairs of the University under him as the then Chairman of the University’s Governing Council.
“After the conclusion of the Panel’s work, Imo State Government accepted its Report and published same on its White Paper of 28th July, 2020. In the said White Paper, Prince Alex Mbata was indicted for:
“Unilaterally changing and replacing the consultants for the University’s TETFUND projects from Three-Dimensions (3-D) to Mayfair Projects Ltd., Abuja without approval and contrary to laid-down procedures by TETFUND, and which change of consultants impeded the project evaluation for earned certificates.
“Delaying the release and payment of the contractors’ earned certificates on the ground that for any such approval, he would sight payment voucher and be sure his interest is covered which forced the contractors to abandon many projects and led to substandard projects as scattered all over Imo state University.
“Involvement in the brouhaha leading to the unlawful termination of the appointment of the then the University’s Registrar and the concomitant suit in court etc.”
The petition which was also copied to the Owerri zonal office of the APC further stated that, “Our clients, a non-governmental organization passionately committed to the provision of basic educational and other needs for the Nigerian child, has learnt that the said Prince Alex Mbata is vying for the position of senator for Owerri zone in the 2023 elections under your party. In the face of the above highlighted report indicting him for abuse of office, we demand explanations and apology from him over his involvement in the alleged contract and other irregularities. Some of the buildings abandoned under his tenure include Faculties of Business Administration, Science, Education Annex, new Main Library and Medical Centre.
“Our clients have made efforts to reach out to Prince Alex Mbata for him to offer explanations with regards to the above indictment to no avail.
“In view of the foregoing, our clients will not hesitate to resort to the law to compel the implementation of the White Paper if a man with such a pedigree is given the nod by you to represent Owerri zone in the prestigious upper chamber of the National Assembly of Nigeria in 2023. Our clients understand the importance of that position and will not want to have a man who superintended over massive infrastructural decay and abandonment of projects at Imo State University, Owerri to represent Owerri zone in that capacity for any reason. We have no doubt in our mind that you will allow the voice of reason to prevail.
“Annexed hereto are copies of some sections of the White Paper earlier referred to in this letter which are relevant to this petition.”
Recall, that ECEAF, had in an earlier publication taken a wipe at Prince Alex Mbata based on the damning revelation in the White Paper issued by the panel set up by the state government to look into the activities of the university for a certain period, that includes when Prince Alex Mbata was the university’s Pro-Chancellor during former Governor Rochas Okorochas’s tenure.
The White Paper reads in part, “The abandoned building projects have been a source of worry and embarrassment to Imo State University and Imo State Government, and people as a whole. The abandoned buildings are made up of three (3nos) TETFUND Intervention Projects, namely; Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education Annex Building Projects; and two (2nos) NEEDS Assessment Projects, made up of the New Main Library and the Medical Centre Buildings.
” Contractor mobilized to site on Monday, 13 January 2015, but commenced work in the last week of March, 2015 due to difficulty in getting occupants of the buildings on the site to vacate.
“By 16 June 2015, the contractor had started having problems with the delayed release and payments of his earned certificates.
“Between 16 June 2015 and up till 14 October 2015, Arisa Adifice and other contractors of identified TETFUND abandoned projects made four joint requests (16 June 2015, 24 August 2015, 3 September 2015 and October 2015) for payments of earned certificates without success. By December 2017, contractor abandoned the project”.
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