Owerri - The embattled Deputy Governor of Imo, Mr Jude Agbaso, has asked the EFCC to investigate the N458 million contract scam allegation against him.
Agbaso also challenged the state government to engage the services of forensic experts to unravel the movement of the said money and the people connected to it.
The deputy governor made the call at a news conference on Wednesday in his country home in Emekuku near Owerri.
``We are no longer living in a dark era but in the era of information technology. Forensic experts should be involved to get to the root of this matter,” he said.
He alleged that Gov. Rochas Okorocha approved the payment for the said N1.03 billion contract from which the bribe allegation emanated.
Agbaso also said that as the then commissioner for works, the ministry was not involved in the award of the contract, and that the contract sum did not pass through it.
He described the scandal as a move by his detractors to tarnish his image and that of his family, which is aimed at preventing him from serving his people.
Earlier, the elder brother of the deputy governor, Mr Martin Agbaso, attributed the bribe saga to the handiwork of some overzealous politicians and enemies of progress.
He said it was untrue that his brother asked for and collected any ``kick-back” for the award of the contract and therefore unfair for the assembly to initiate an impeachment process against his brother.
``If the governor gave the contract, approved the payment through the accountant-general of the state; which the deputy governor did not make, why would the contractor give the deputy governor a kick back.
``My younger brother did not collect one naira from any person; we are hard working people; all we are asking for is the truth and I will pursue this matter to the end.
``By the time the score cards are out we will know who should actually be impeached,” he said.
The former APGA gubernatorial candidate in 2007 also said that it was not true that he had approached the House of Representatives over the matter, describing it as propaganda.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Imo House of Assembly recently commenced an impeachment process against the deputy governor.
This followed the report of a committee, set up to probe the allegation of N458 million gratification by a construction company.
Meanwhile, a group known as the Owerri Zone Political Leaders Forum has said that there is the need for the state government to tell the world who awarded the contract and paid for it.
The spokesperson of the group, Mr Charles Amadi, said it had zero tolerance for corruption and also called on the EFCC to investigate the matter.
He wondered why full payment would be made for a contract that was not executed.