Charles Ugwuh

Ex-Nigerian minister Charles Ugwuh detained for suspected N3.6bn fraud


Former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Charles Chukwuemeka Ugwuh, along with Chief Geoffrey Ekenma, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged conspiracy and fraud amounting to N3.6 billion. The arrest took place on January 11, 2024, in New Owerri, Imo State.

The arrest follows a petition from a new generation bank regarding fraudulent activities associated with Ebony Agro Industries Ltd., a company linked to the ex-Minister.

Investigations revealed that Ugwuh and Ekenma obtained a loan for rice production but failed to repay, leading to the arrest. The EFCC stated that the suspects would be charged to court after concluding their investigations.

Charles Ugwuh, a former president of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), lost the PDP primaries for Imo State governor in 2007 but was appointed Minister for Commerce & Industry in 2007. He served until October 2008.

In a separate development, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has invited Interior Minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo for questioning over a N438 million contract awarded to a company linked to him. The contract, revealed by the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, is disputed by Tunji-Ojo, who claims he resigned as director in 2019.

Despite the denial, CCB has summoned Tunji-Ojo to appear on January 16, 2024, for interrogation regarding the contract scandal. The bureau’s investigation is part of its constitutional mandate to address the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by the Minister of Interior. The company implicated is named New Planet Projects.





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