The case files of 15 high-profile individuals, including the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, Senator Peter Nwabaoshi, and others facing graft and other criminal charges have disappeared, findings by Sunday Punch have revealed.
The missing files also included the non-declaration of assets and possession of foreign accounts cases against Anambra North senator, Stella Oduah; the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick; and four other NFF officials as well Akwa Ibom North-East Senator, Bassey Akpan, among others.
The case against Uzodimma involved alleged contract fraud to the tune of N26bn. He reportedly received $12.5m from the Nigerian Ports Authority in 2014 to dredge the Calabar channel, but he allegedly failed to execute the contract.
Sequel to the disappearance of the files, the Ministry of Justice has written to the former head of the legal unit, Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Dr Cletus Ukpong, seeking information on the case files.
The files were said to be among the 23 high profile cases listed in a handover note by the chairman of the now defunct SPIP, Okoi Obono-Obla, to the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata (SAN), in August 2019, after Obono-Obla was suspended by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on August 14.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, subsequently directed Apata, who is the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of justice, to take charge of the panel.
But one year after Apata took over the panel, the whereabouts of the files were said to be unknown, prompting the Solicitor-General to write to Ukpong for information on the cases, the parties and the courts handling them.
The Solicitor-General, in a letter with reference number, SGF/PS/SPIPRPP/733/1, dated July 27, 2020, asked Ukpong to furnish the AGF’s office with information on the 15 court cases and the parties involved…