Enugu Senator distributes N117 million constituency items as ICPC threatens jail

Mr. Chukwuka Utazi, a Nigeria Senator representing Enugu-North has on Tuesday distributed  items valued at  N117.

Utazi has kept the items for over a year, but was forced to distribute them when Nigeria anti graft agency,   the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission threatened to arrest and jail him for refusing to distribute the items.

Nigeria anti graft agency,  had uncovered constituency projects items concealed by Utazi.

The anti graft agency sealed off the building located at Uzo Uwani community where 
the items were concealed.

Some of the items uncovered were 203 grinding machines and five electricity transformers.

Others were 51 Tricycle (Keke Napep) and 228 motorcycles.

Mr Suleiman Godwin, the anti graft agency spokesperson disclosed the operation in Enugu.

The spokesman say items recovered from the lawmaker worth over N100 million.

WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR) had reported how Mr. Utazi Godfrey,  representing the people of Enugu North Senatorial District at the upper legislative Chamber refused to account for N104 million constituency project he nominated in 2017.

Under the deal, Utazi said he will purchase 251 Motorcycles for youth empowerment in Enugu North Senatorial District. And each of the Motorcycles will cost N418,000.

Checks by WAR in the open market shows that in 2017 when Utazi struck his deal, a Motorcycle was sold between N120k and N130k.

Obinna Ekene, a Motorcycle dealer in Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja, told our reporter, that amount is inflated and outrageous. He explained that in 2017, that amount will buy three Motorcycles, and wondered whey the Senator will inflate such a high figure.

In an effort to find out how the Senator expended N104 million allocated for his constituency project, Tracka, a non-governmental organization working to ensure quality delivery of government project across Nigeria asked Utazi to account for it and show the status of implementation.

In the request made by Tracka to Utazi, the organization asked the Senator to make public the implementation status of the Motorcycle he nominated as his constituency project in 2017.

A request Utazi has refused to honour.

Tracka senior official, told WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR), that the organization in the last two months has written Utazi, using the Freedom of Information (FOI) asking for the implementation status of the project he nominated in 2017.

Although constituency project was conceived to help the Lawmakers implement intervention projects lacking in communities they represent, Nigeria experience has shown the scheme has been abused.

Often many Nigerians refer to constituency project as monies meant for the boys.

Utazi is not the only one who has been caught in this act, many Federal Lawmakers simply hide under the cover of constituency project to divert public funds.

The act is carried out with the Lawmakers working in collaboration with the Ministry Department and Agencies (MDAs).

Angry with the desperation of the Lawmakers to make monies available for constituency project, Mr. Buhari, the Nigerian President accused the Lawmakers of replacing National projects with constituency project.

Attempt made by WAR to get explanation from Utazi was not successful as his phone number did not connect.

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