One of Nigeria’s arguably most popular celebrity and veteran actress, Onyeka Onwenu, has been accused of demanding and collecting bribes through her personal assistant, Chika Abazu, from a contractor employed to carry out renovation works at the National Centre for Women Development [NCWD], where she is the director general according to reports by the Premium Times.
This accusation was made by Joseph Nwakama, an architect who works with Solidmark Associates Limited, the company employed by the Centre to carry out the renovation of its guest house.
After investigations carried out by the the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, Mr. Abazu was found guilty of indeed demanding and receiving a total of N17 million bribe from the contractor but the commission has so far gotten no direct evidence which links Ms. Onwenu to the offence.
Mr. Abuza appeared in court on July 10 before a Federal Capital Territory High Court on a six-count charge of bribery and gratification where he pleaded not guilty to the charges but was denied bail and ordered remanded in the Federal Prisons, Kuje, until the case is dispensed with.
Although investigators could not directly link Ms. Onwenu to bribetaking, documents obtained by theicirnigeria.org have revealed so many wrongdoings by the Centre’s management under her watch, including funding the Solidmark contract with money taken from a Women Empowerment Programme in Zamfara State and spending more than was budgeted for the project. That is apart from paying the contractor even before he was officially awarded the contract.