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Constituency Projects Scandal: ICPC recovers three ambulances, transformer from senator

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has announced the recovery of three ambulance vehicles and a 500KVA Transformer which are Constituency Project items, from a former senator, Buruji Kashamu.

The commission made this known in series of tweets on its official handle on Thursday.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the recovered items were part of 2016 Constituency Projects meant to be distributed to Ogun East Senatorial District.

“They were discovered at his Constituency Project Office in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State”

“The three ambulances which were procured at the cost of N6 million each, were meant to be supplied to Obada Healthcare Centre, Oke Sopin in Ijebu North Local Government Area; Community Health Centre, Itele in Ijebu East Local Government Area; and Community Health Centre, Ogijo in Sagamu Local Government Area respectively.”

“The transformer is the last of an initial eleven meant for distribution to various communities of Ogun East Senatorial District which were procured at the cost of N3.6m each, bringing the total for the entire eleven transformers to N39.5 million,” the agency wrote.

ICPC said its received intelligence about the items from a concerned citizen who became aware of the Commission’s Constituency Project Tracking Group initiative which exercise has so far covered 12 states of the federation.

A Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) initiative is part of the ICPC Constituency Project Tracking Group.

Buruji Kashamu, the senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District
Buruji Kashamu, the senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District

“The recovered items were seized and the vehicles were moved to a Police Station while the 500KVA Transformer was marked with the Commission’s seizure seal and in the interim, kept in the custody of the Manager of the Senator’s office”, the commission said.

Mr Kashamu joins a growing list of former and serving lawmakers from whom materials paid for by public funds and meant for constituents were recovered. Others include a former Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, and Chukwuka Utazi, who represents Enugu North in the Senate. Both men were later allowed to distribute the items by the ICPC despite calls for their prosecution.

The ICPC did not indicate if it plans to prosecute Mr Kashamu, who is wanted in the U.S. for an unrelated drugs case.

PREMIUM TIMES has published several reports on how constituency projects nominated by lawmakers and paid for with public funds are abandoned. Although the projects are nominated by lawmakers, they are supposed to be executed by relevant government agencies. However, the lawmakers often get involved in the execution and sometimes nominate contractors to execute the projects.

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