Corruption How Buhari's Minister was indicted and charged with fraud in 2000

A committee set up by the Donald Duke govt in Cross River in 2000 was said to have found Usani guilty.

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Pastor Usani Uguru Usani play

Pastor Usani Uguru Usani

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, was indicted and charged with fraud in 2000 by the Cross River state government, Premium Times authoritatively reports.

Usani, who after serving as the Cross River commissioner for Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development in 1999, was indicted by a committee set up by the Donald Duke administration.

According to the report, the committee was set up to investigate financial impropriety among officials of the preceding military administration in the state.

In the report filed by the committee headed by Orok Oyo, Usani was said to intended to defraud the state government.

The committee also said Usani refused to apply government approved scales when he paid out some money as fees to Gersh Henshaw & Company, a firm of estate surveyors and valuers.

The firm reportedly handled the contract for the valuation of vehicles, workshops and equipment belonging to the Cross River State Water Board.

The valuation was said to be part of the African Development Bank water project in the state.

According to the committee, the state government lost N16.323 million because of Usani’s "deliberate" action.

The then governor Duke was said to have accepted the committee's report and further directed that the N16, 323,150 be recovered from Usani, and that he should be prosecuted as well.

Investigation by Premium Times revealed that the state government filed a complaint against Usani at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

It was, however, discovered that after CCB forwarded the case to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for trial, the state government swiftly requested that the case be discontinued, without giving any reason for its action.

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A letter addressed to the CCB Chairman by the then secretary to the state government and dated July 5, 2001, said the instruction to drop the case against Usani and others charged along with him came from the governor, Donald Duke.

It was gathered that in CCB's reply, it informed the government that the tribunal, in accordance with Duke's instruction, had on September 12, 2001 discontinued further criminal proceedings, and struck out the case against Usani and others.

The newspaper reported that Duke did not respond to its inquiries on why he ordered the discontinuation of the trial.

President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused by the opposition of only targeting officers of the immediate past government and chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party in his anti-corruption war and conveniently leaving out alleged corrupt members of his cabinet and associates.

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