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Abia Panel Criticizes Police for Requesting Mobilization Fee in Bench Warrant Case

Abia Panel Criticizes Police for Requesting Mobilization Fee in Bench Warrant Case
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Justice Florence Duroha-Igwe (Rtd), the Chairman of the Abia State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the recovery of government properties and funds, expressed dissatisfaction with the behavior of certain security agencies during the panel proceedings in Umuahia.

Justice Duroha-Igwe issued a bench warrant against Mr. Goodluck Nwagbara, the Director of Finance at the Abia State Housing and Property Development Commission, for disregarding the panel’s order. However, the Nigeria Police allegedly demanded a mobilization fee before executing their duty.

Justice Duruoha-Igwe voiced her disapproval, questioning why the police or any security agency would require payment before fulfilling their responsibilities. “I issued a bench warrant and the police said I should come and mobilize them,” Justice Duruoha-Igwe expressed her frustration.

During cross-examination by panel counsel, Mr. Nwagbara explained that the agency obtained clearance from the Auditor General of Abia State prior to salary payments, in addition to overhead running costs. He clarified that only junior staff received overtime allowances, while professionals at grade level 15 and above were not entitled to such allowances.

Additionally, panel counsel Mrs. Inemesit Obiekweihe further cross-examined Mr. Felix Nkoro and Mr. Augustine Uche-Ibe, the Director of Lands at the Ministry of Lands and Housing, to determine the original owner of Abia State Specialist Hospital in Umueze Layout, Aba.

Mr. Nkoro revealed that successive administrations had been allocating, revoking, and reallocating the land to private individuals or corporate agencies, deviating from the original purpose for which the host communities donated the land to the Abia State government. He requested the panel’s intervention.

In response, Mr. Augustine Uche-Ibe, the Director of Lands, clarified that the land was acquired for establishing the Specialist Teaching Hospital, and the state government decided to develop the area by constructing additional structures.

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