Ebonyi-Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, suspended the State Co-ordinator of FADAMA, Dr. Cletus Chukwuma Nwakpu over alleged misappropriation of funds.
The suspension of the FADAMA boss was announced by the Governor, during a virtual meeting of the State Executive Council, at the new Government House, Abakaliki.
Briefing the Press, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, explained that the Fiscal Responsibility Commission were given marching orders by the Governor to recover looted funds from the embattled Coordinator within 7 days.
“Failure to do this within seven(7) days, they should do two things. One, petition to EFCC to take over the matter; two, also prosecute him in court. So, two actions that are within their power and nobody can interfer with that.”
Ugbala sated that the Governor directed that somebody should act in the place of the suspended FADAMA boss as the Government would review activities in FADAMA in the State.
“The Government also referred Dr Nwakpu to the Head of Service for disciplinary action as due process of Civil Service will be followed, so that he will also be suspended as a Civil Servant too.”
The report indicting the suspended FADAMA boss stated: “The summary of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission is that Dr Cletus Nwakpu directed the opening of an account with the name of Ebonyi State FADAMA Production Cluster with Polaris Bank PLC, formerly called Sky Bank PLC and the project account has signatories and which money contributed by the farmers as captured in 2007 FADAMA Projects were deposited contrary to the financial regulation guiding the implementation of FADAMA project.
“That Dr Cletus Nwakpu did not release to the farmers the complete Agricultural inputs which they paid for and has failed to refund the payment so made.
“That Dr Cletus Nwakpu directed some parts of FADAMA office to collect about ninety million naira(#90,000,000) being for the beneficiary contribution levy made by the farmers in cash contrary to the requirement that every beneficiary contributed into individual farmers’ production group account.
“The total sum of twelve million six hundred and ten thousand only (#12,610,000.00), two million six hundred and ten thousand naira only(#2,610,000.00) paid by farmers for adversory services of the 2017 FADAMA Project was not complied for the designated purpose.
“That the total sum of thirteen million six hundred and fifty thousand naira only(#13,650,000.00) approved by Dr Cletus Nwakpu for the payment to the two resourced persons for capacity building for the farmers was not actually spent for the purpose and there was no capacity building as claimed.
“That the regulation and guideline for the procurement of Agricultural inputs, selection of service provider, particularly for adversory service and capacity building for 2017-2019 FADAMA Project/Program were not compiled by Dr Cletus Nwakpu.
“That the sum of ninety one thousand naira (#91,000) was paid for one unit of rice machine but was neither supplied nor the amount refunded to the farmers.
“That because of the failure of the said Coordinating office to comply with the approval regulation and procedures, one hundred and eighty two million naira(#182,000,000) being 50% beneficial contribution this year and another 90% International Development Agency(ICA) counterpart fund for adversory service fee for 2017 were not paid to Ebonyi State Government by International Development Agency Fund.
“That Dr Cletus Nwakpu initiated the arrest of Mr Anthony Nwankwo, the project Accountant on the said day that he(Anthony Nwankwo), invited by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to testify to the matter. This arrest followed an earlier arrest of Mr Cyprian Iziogo, the Project Procurement Officer.”