Senator Hope Uzodinma

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property has released the Imo State governorship candidate of the APC, Hope Uzodinma.

Uzodinma, a serving senator, was arrested on Sunday night over an allegation of failure to execute a contract of $12m for the dredging of Calabar channel for which he had been paid.

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Speaking to Punch on Monday, the chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, said Uzodinma had been released on bail.

He said the serving senator representing Imo-West was released on Sunday on “humanitarian grounds” on the condition that he would return to the panel for questioning on Monday.

Obono-Obla said: “This is the message from the Director of Operations of the Panel, DCP Tahir Usman, to me: ‘Good day sir, Hope Uzodimma called to apologise and said he would like to come tomorrow (Tuesday) due to his BP (Blood Pressure), Sir.’

“We released him on bail last night (Sunday) on humanitarian ground and asked him to report back today (Monday) at 10 am.

“When he didn’t come, my operatives laid siege to his residence, then he pleaded with us to allow him to see his doctor and report tomorrow (Tuesday).”

“We are determined and unrelenting to get into the matter. The Calabar channel dredging project has been a conduit through which huge sums of money have been diverted.”

Obono-Obla had said on Sunday that Uzodinma was arrested over the senator company’s failure to execute a contract of $12m for the dredging of Calabar channel.

According to the panel’s chairman, the contract was awarded by the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Obono-Obla said Uzodinma had been evading arrest for about a year but was arrested at about 8.20pm at the Abuja airport while arriving from Lagos.