By Esther Nworie
Ebonyi State Muslim Community/Hausa Community has petitioned Ebonyi State Governor over an alleged diversion of Covid-19 Palliatives meant for the Muslims by the Chairman of Ebonyi State Muslim pilgrims welfare Board, Engr. Abbass Egwu.
The group forwards their petition to the security agencies in the state calling for immediate investigation and prosecution of the accused person.
Ebonyi State Coronavirus committee on palliatives had last week roll out the distribution of palliatives to residents of the State including the Muslim community but on 18th may, the Community petitioned the State Government alleging that out of the N2m cash that was added to 500 bags of 5kg rice for the Muslims in Ebonyi State, Engr. Abbass only shared N700,000 and pocketed N1.3m.
In a letter to the State Governor’s Engr. David Umahi from Ebonyi State Muslim Community (ESMUCO) tagged “ Criminal Diversion of Covid-19 Palliatives Given to the Muslim community/Hausa Community of Ebonyi State by one Engr. Abbass Egwu” signed by Alahaji Danjuma Gambo, Sarkin, Hausa Community Ebonyi State, Alhaji Salisu Yunusa, Leader, Hausa Community Ezzamgbo and Alhaji Ibrahim Ogbonnia Amah, of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, the group called on the state government and security operatives to investigate the distribution of the palliatives by Engr. Abbass and the money diverted to his pocket.
According to them the Muslim pilgrim board chairman is not the leader of Muslim Community in Ebonyi State.
“We wish to State for the record that the said Engr. Abbass Egwu is not the leader of the Ebonyi State Muslim/Hausa Community. He is a government appointee whose tenure in office shall expire in a couple of years, though he has been arrogating to himself the status of the leader of the Ebonyi State Muslim/ Hausa Community to which he is not and can never be.
“On this Covid-19 Palliatives, we are aware that the Governor approved the sum of N2m only and 500 bags of 5kg rice for us, we State that the said impostor called Engr. Abbass Egwu collected the money and bags of rice without our consent and knowledge. He, in the comfort of his home, shared the money and rice as it suits his greed.
“In all, he shared the sum of N700,000 only and some bags of rice. He greedily pocketed the sum of N1.3m only for himself to satisfy his unquenchable greed. We decry this act of sabotage on the good works of your government as well as robbing us of our legitimate entitlement from your government.”
When contacted on phone, the accused chairman Muslim pilgrims welfare board Engr. Abbass Egwu, denied the allegation.
He said that the money was judiciously shared to the eight central mosque scatted across the state.
He denied sharing the Palliatives in his house rather he shared it at the cabinet office, Government House Abakaliki, that apart from the central mosque some stakeholders in the Muslim Community including Fulani leadership also benefited from the palliatives.
Engr. Abbass however, said that he has submitted his distribution report to the chairman of the committee, the Speaker Ogbonnaya Nwifuru to show how he transparently distributed the palliatives assigned to him.
Meanwhile, Dr. Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah, Vice President – General, NSCIA/JNI & Chairman, BoT,
Da’wah and Guidance Bureau of Nigeria (DGBN) has also petitioned the governor of Ebonyi State over the distribution of the Muslim community palliatives, he exonerated himself from the mismanagement of the rice and the fund released by the government.
Alahaji Harun said that as a stakeholder he didn’t benefit from the palliatives.
“My attention has been drawn to the ongoing rifts, controversies, petitions and possible crisis raging over the diversion, mismanagement and embezzlement of the money and rice from the government to Ebonyi State Muslims by Alhaji Abbas Egwu.
“To this effect, l want to categorically and unequivocally state that I was not even informed as a major stakeholder by Alh. Abbas nor got any potion from these items he looted .And I will submit to your Excellency report of the observations of the NIGERIAN SUPREME COUNCIL FOR ISLAMIC AFFAIRS (NSCIA ) over the happenings and the maltreatments against us in this administration in shaa Allah.”