The director general of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Onyeka Onwenu, on Friday failed to honour the invitation of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the alleged N17million contract bribe.
A reliable source at the ICPC headquarters disclosed this in Abuja saying the NCWD DG declined to appear before the anti-corruption agency because she had to attend to a health challenge.
The source further revealed that the chairman of the ICPC will explore all options, including giving Onwenu a new date in order to ensure that she answers her part in the whole N17 million bribery allegation.
“In line with our investigations into the alleged 17 million bribery for the contract at the NCWD, we decided it was high time we summoned the DG to say her part of the story. Though, she had declined to honour our invitation, we believe that with the arraignment of her PA, Chika Abazu, we need to complete the other leg of our investigation because findings have shown that some officials of NCWD were also implicated in the bribery scandal.
“While we integrogated other key persons like Mukhtar Usman, Jauro Jibrin and Sadeeq Umar on the same issue yesterday, it has come to the turn of the DG,” the source stated.
It would be recalled that Onwenu’s personal assistant, Abazu, who was on July 10 arraigned before an Abuja High Court on a six-count charge of bribery and gratification, pleaded not guilty to the charges but was denied bail and ordered to be remanded in the Federal Prisons, Kuje, until the case is dispensed with.
The presiding judge, Justice Chukwu Ndukwe, adjourned the case till September 28 for trial.
He is being arraigned after Joseph Nwakama, an architect with Solidmark Associates Limited, the company employed by the NCWD to carry out the renovation of its guest house petitioned the ICPC that Abazu demanded and collected N17m as kick back for the contract. He however confirmed that there is no link to Onwenu in the crime.