The presidency has decided to keep mum on a minister who was indicted for fraud when he held office in a different capacity.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, was indicted for financial impropriety for his role when he held office during the military era.
PREMIUM TIMES is in possession of a government white paper which documented Mr. Usani’s indictment after he was found guilty of fraud in 2000 by a panel established by the Cross River State Government.
Mr. Usani, who had just finished serving as the Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development, appeared in 1999 before a government committee set up to investigate financial impropriety among officials of the preceding military administration in the state.
The committee, officially known as Financial Impropriety/Verification Standing Committee, was inaugurated in 1999 by the then governor, Donald Duke.
It was chaired by Orok Oyo, and had Andy Ikpeme, Ekpe Ita, Otu Oka and Akomaye Adie as members.
According to the document, Mr. Usani, because of his alleged intent to defraud the government, was said to have refused to apply government approved scales, when he paid out some money as fees to Gersh Henshaw & Company, a firm of estate surveyors and valuers, which handled the contract for the valuation of vehicles, workshops and equipment belonging to the Cross River State Water Board.
The valuation was said to be part of the African Development Bank water project in the state.
Gersh Henshaw & Company was paid a lump sum in dollars, the document said.