By Emmanuel Mogbede
Mr Daniel Onjeh, Governing Board Chairman Project Development Institute (PRODA) Enugu, has said that the ongoing corruption probe of the institute must be followed to a logical conclusion.
Onjeh said this at a news conference in Abuja, adding that the probe which was against the institute`s suspended Director-General Charles Agulanna would not be one of the usual probes in the country.
He maintained that as a renowned human rights and development activist he was prepared to go the extra mile to safeguard his integrity and ensure that corruption was fought to a standstill in the country.
He, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his fight against corruption and for approving the recommendation of the board to suspend Agulanna.
“I also wish to use this medium to thank the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation (SGF) for recommending the precise position of the PRODA Board to the president.
“Together, we shall kill the cankerworm of corruption, which has eaten deeply into the fabrics of this great nation, “he said.
He, however, noted that the President`s efforts to improve the well being of Nigerians was being impeded by some members of the National Assembly.
“The assiduous efforts of President Buhari to ameliorate the plights of Nigerians by providing them with the much needed infrastructure are being sabotaged to great extents by some members of the National Assembly,’’Onjeh said.
He alleged that he had recently been made the target of media attacks following reports from the National Assembly that he was an impersonator.
“What they termed forgery and impersonation, was simply that I wrote to them on my letter head, in response to an invitation they earlier extended to me.
“They duly addressed me in my capacity as the Chairman of the Governing Board of PRODA and I replied them using the very same address through which they earlier wrote to me.
“They didn’t mince words about my status and contact address in their letter to me. So, I replied them in the capacity of the office through which they wrote to me,’’ he said.
He stressed that this could not have amounted to impersonation, saying that contrary to media report, he remained the chairman of PRODA Governing Board.
Onjeh said that he was only asked to step aside as the chairman of PRODA Governing Board to enable proper investigation into allegations against the suspended Director-General of the institute.
He maintained that the speculation which emanated from the House of Representatives in its plenary on Feb. 10, that he had been suspended as chairman of PRODA Governing Board, was incorrect.
He explained that the presidential directive of Nov. 17, 2020 asking him to step aside pending the conclusion of investigation on the suspended Director-General of PRODA, Agulanna was unambiguous.
“It is equally worthy of mention that I chaired the board that spearheaded the investigation of the suspended Director- General of PRODA.
“He was suspended upon the establishment of a prima facie evidence against him on allegations bordering on misappropriation, contract splitting, nepotism, insubordination and concealment of official records amongst others.”
Onjeh said the allegation that he was interfering with the 2020 procurement process of PRODA was an utterly misguided and misleading information.
This, he explained was especially so because according to the Public Service Rules, the Director-General was in charge of the day to day activity of the institute, subject to the direction of the Board.
“The primary role of the Board is to initiate and drive policies on behalf of the Federal Government, and to ensure compliance by agencies through its oversight functions,’’ he said. (NAN)