The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Charles Ugwu, a former Minister of Commerce and Industry, over allegations of conspiracy and fraud amounting to N3.6 billion.
Ugwu is the current chairman of the Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The arrest, which took place on January 11 in New Owerri, Imo State, also included one Chief Geoffrey Ekenma.
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According to the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, the arrest follows a petition from a new generation bank regarding alleged fraudulent activities connected to Ebony Agro Industries Ltd., a company linked to the former minister.
Ugwu, an engineer and industrialist who served as the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and as Minister of Commerce and Industry from July 2007 to October 2008, is accused of obtaining a loan facility from the bank for the purchase and production of polished rice through Ebony Agro Industries Ltd.
However, the petitioner claimed that Ugwuh and Ekenma, the Managing Director of Ebony Agro Industries Ltd., failed to meet their obligations to the bank.
Efforts to have them repay the loan were reportedly unsuccessful, leading to the involvement of the EFCC.
Oyewale stated that investigations revealed the alleged financial improprieties, and the suspects would be charged in court as soon as the investigative process was concluded.
He stated that the arrest is part of ongoing efforts of the EFCC to combat financial crimes in Nigeria.