As the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, have kicked off investigations over series of petitions against Hon. Vitus Okechi, Enugu state Commissioner for Housing and Development, relating to the alleged breach of code of conduct regulations, Herald for Anti-Corruption and Public Morality, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting corruption among public office holders has commended the CCB for diligent investigation of the case.
Recall that on July 16th 2020, Transparency Centre Network wrote the Bureau to investigate Hon. Okechi for not declaring his full assets as demanded by the constitution.
In a statement by the Convener of the group, John Bassey, the commended the agency for the speedy handling of the case. “The speedy approach in the handling of the cases against Hon. Vitus is worthy of note”.
He expressed bewilderment as to how a single individual would intentionally encroach into both the land belonging to the old site of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu and that of local community with impunity.
“It is a clear case of lawlessness, recklessness and violation of the citizenry’s fundamental right to own property. The man ignored the path of peace, sanity and due process.
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“The Transparency Center Network and other patriotic members of the local community that equally sent a petition to the Bureau deserve a special place in the heart of all lovers of Justice, equity and fair play.
“We urge the CCB to accelerate the process for the commencement of a speedy trial since the petitioners have given incontrovertible evidence against the commissioner,” Bassey stated.
The group further urged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to be wary of people like Hon. Vitus, saying, “they are hellbent on dragging his name in the mud.”
The group added: “It is unfair for Hon. Vitus to stain the time-tested reputation of the governor because of desperation to annex land belonging to a federal institution on one hand and the ancestral land of the people on the other hand.
“We deeply believe that the current Chairman of the CCB and his team of dedicated staff are going to ensure that justice prevails, as far as this case on Hon. Vitus is concerned.”
The group posits that, the CCB as an institution, has acted in a very professional manner, so far, in the handling of the case involving Hon. Vitus because they are positive that the era of escaping justice by abusers of Code of Conduct regulations is over.
In a similar vein, the CCB is also investigating another case of breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act by Public Officers in respect of Hon. Robson Iniobong Nnamso, Chairman Esit Eket Local Government Council of Akwa Ibom State.
In a letter dated 11th June, 2020 Reference No: CCB/AK/S/VOL. 2/308 written by office of the State Director, Code of Conduct Bureau, Uyo Akwa Ibom State.
The Director, Amba Ikpeme indicted the said Hon Robson for the submission of his assets declaration form eighteen months after collection of the form on 6th June, 2019, for reasons not stated, amongst others. He was subsequently recommend for immediate prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
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The CCB is investigating the cases pursuant to the mandate and powers of the Bureau as enshrined in the 3rd Schedule, part 1, Paragraph 3(e) to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended; Section 137 (a) and (b) and 138 (a) and (b) Penal Code Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and Section 104 of evidence Act 2011.
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