An Anti-corruption, Environmental, and Human Rights civil society group, Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD has accused the Abia State Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) of illegally auctioning about 17 buses meant for each of the local governments in the state.
FENRAD in a statement signed by, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, the executive Director, and Barr. Olusegun Bamgbose, Head Legal Team alleged that the vehicles were sold at the auctioned price of N317,000. 00 (three hundred and seventeen thousand naira only) in a manner that breaches due process and transparency.
While expressing concern over the development, FENRAD says the affected vehicles were not declared as “beyond economic recovery”, in essence, there was no indication that they were no longer economically viable for sale.
It applauded the State House of Assembly for launching an investigation into the matter.
It says, “The 17 vehicles – meant to serve the seventeen LGAs within the state – were, without due process, sold off at the auctioned price of N317,000. 00 (three hundred and seventeen thousand naira only) without recourse to the law as is right The vehicles, FENRAD gathers, were not declared as “beyond economic recovery” (BER – when vehicles are no longer economically viable for sale). FENRAD learns also that the State House of Assembly’s Committee on Public Accounts, Anti-corruption and Due Process is currently investigating this issue and has adjourned the hearing to Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at Room 1 of the House, according to the positions outlined by the Committee leader, Hon. Barr. Jerry Uzosike. Also, FENRAD is aware the House minority leader, Mr. Chukwu Chijioke, affirmed that no stone shall be left unturned in the ongoing investigation.
“Barring the absenting of affected parties – mostly staff of Ministry of Transport and those from Government House – the hearing, now postponed, would have held.
“In all fairness, honesty and Probity FENRAD wants SEMB to show any auctioning advertorial published online or on any national daily authorising the said auctioning and the Reports and pictorial evidence of the Auctioning and show also how buses parked at Ministry of Agriculture also got allegedly sold off or missing without due Process. FENRAD would also like to know if, after the sales of the vehicles, monies – in the form of proceeds – were channeled to the state coffers through Board of Internal Revenue ( BIR)
“FENRAD establishes that as an advocacy group it is seeking for justice for common good, Promote Accountability and transparency and ensure public properties are channeled for personal use FENRAD, to this end, urges the seventh assembly to make sure that the last, and even least, of this very matter is heard, addressed and justice served.
” FENRAD wants SEMB, state house officials, ministries of agriculture and transport to tell Abians how these vehicles for school bus and public transport purposes (commuting) got missing all of a sudden to exonerate from the illegal Auctioning.”