The Federal Government has failed to clarify the status of the travel ban imposed on Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State, as well as the N4.3 billion fraud case instituted against him by the now-defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel.
Uzodinma, who was recently inaugurated as Imo State Governor following a Supreme Court judgment last week, has a $12 million (N4.3 billion) instituted against him by the SPIP, which was led by Okoi Obono-Obla.
The governor is accused by the panel of failing to execute a contract awarded to his company by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for the dredging of the Calabar Channel.
He was arrested by the panel but was released due to high blood pressure he suffered in custody, according to Obono-Obla.
The panel had also dragged Uzodinma before Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged non-disclosure of assets.
As a result of the case and following the introduction of Executive Order 6, Uzodinma was placed on a travel ban alongside 38 other alleged treasury looters by the Federal Government.
The case is now being handled by the Office of the AGF following the disbandment of the SPIP.
Asked for an update on the case as well the status of Uzodinma’s travel ban, Umar Gwandu, spokesperson of Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, promised to give an update, the Punch reports.
However, six hours after the inquiry was made, the AGF’s spokesperson said he had directed the questions to the appropriate quarters but had yet to get a response.
“I have not been able to get a response for now. When there is information, I will forward it to you,” he said.
Gwandu, however, could not say when the response would come.
Uzodinma is also facing another alleged fraud case in court levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The governor is alleged to have issued a N200m dud cheque, with Justice Abdulahab Muhammed of an FCT High Court had on October 29, 2018, referring the case to the EFCC for investigation and action.
The court had on September 18, 2018, ordered the arrest of Uzodinma following his refusal to honour the summons to answer to the complaint that he issued the dud cheque.
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On September 25, 2018, the court granted a request by counsel for the complainants, Tosin Ojaomo, for the publication of a public summons against Uzodinma following the failure of security agencies to produce him despite a pending arrest warrant issued against him.
However, Tony Orilade, EFCC spokesperson, said he is not aware of the governor’s case.
He, however, stated that Uzodinma now had immunity from prosecution.
“I am not familiar with the issue you are raising concerning Senator Hope Uzodinma. In any case, whatever criminal case in respect of the subject, by virtue of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, he enjoys immunity from prosecution until such a time when he will be out of office,” Orilade said.