The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, has dared the State House of Assembly for alleged blackmail, harassment of the agency through media publications and for attempted extortion through oversight function.
In a statement it released to the newsmen, on Sunday, the Public Relations Officer of ECTDA, Mr. Gideon Eze said that the state House of Assembly through its Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-Corruption has constantly harassed the agency in attempts to extort monies it said were never appropriated to the agency.
Eze narrated how the agency had appeared before the committee, last week, but were asked to go back since it came “empty-handed,” lamenting that the House could not wait for it to attend the second invitation it got on September 16 before it went to the press and conducted media trial on the agency.
ECTDA particularly fingered the Chairman of the House committee on Public Accounts and Anti-Corruption, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba for the war drums raging between the two arms of the state government.
Nwamba however said that his committee was investigating alleged extortion and multiple taxation among agencies of the state government, noting that some of the state government agencies had honoured their invitation while the ECTDA sent only one representative whom they rejected.
Part of the ECTDA statement reads: “The ECTDA will not sit and watch the House of Assembly under the misdirection of Hon. Chinedu Nwamba damage the long-standing reputation of our Chairman and that of the Capital territory. One of the greatest challenges faced in ECTDA is the different attempts by various committees of the State House of Assembly to extort this agency and which their proofs are in our record.
“ECTDA is not into Land Allocations and Acquisition but an enforcement agency that was enacted to enforce compliance among related agencies, hence the subject matter which the House Committee is seeking for does not fall within the purview of the ECTDA. We are worried that the House of Assembly never presented this agency with any form of petition or document for us to understand and know what exactly they are investigating in the capital Territory.
“We therefore urge the general public to disregard the opprobrious publication of the Hon. Chinedu Nwamba committee against the ECTDA and its Chairman as this agency will not be distracted in its discharge of her duties. We urge the Speaker of the state House of Assembly to call Hon. Nwamba to order so as to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the House.”
The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, which is under the office of the Governor of the state warned that further acts of blackmail, harassment and intimidation will no longer be condoned by the agency.
“The agency should not be pushed to release damaging documents that could compromise the integrity of the state House of Assembly because a contaminated egg should not be allowed to infest its rot on every other egg in a basket. Let it be recalled that the House Committee had earlier carried out similar oversight functions in the not too distant past where inordinate demands were made but resisted by the agency. This same Hon. Chinedu Nwamba then reported to our Chairman that members of his committee were not happy with what they got from the agency and requested for financial inducement.
“The Agency has no appropriation for the types of outrageous financial demands that Nwamba and his colleagues make and let it be clear that by the law establishing the ECTDA, the Agency is under the office of the Governor and it’s only answerable to His Excellency. The Agency will resist as much as it can to be drawn into cheap blackmails being orchestrated by Hon. Chinedu Nwamba,” the statement read in part.
The ECTDA also wondered why Enugu East local government authority which it labeled as the greatest perpetrators of the land fraud with high profile indigenes involved in land racketeering was not involved in the House investigation and urged the House to join hands with the agency to eradicate the Youth Empowerment levies prevailing at the local government areas and which it said has remained a torn in the flesh of developers in the state.