Sullivan Chime, the former two-term governor of Enugu State is said to have enriched himself and his family by converting choice state-owned land for his private benefit.
An insider has informed Naijiant.com that Polo Park in GRA, Enugu, which is now the site for Shoprite Mall and other recreation facilities, with another mall currently under construction beside the complex, was converted into “40 plots” by Chime and into his personal ownership, using front companies. The land was then leased out to the South African owners of Shoprite.
Chime pulled off a similar scam with a vast expanse of land inside the Enugu State House of Assembly complex in Independence Layout. He is now using an Indian front company, which our source sarcastically referred to as “foreign investors” to develop another shopping mall in what was previously government-owned land.
Chime ensured his criminal investments would be protected by installing current governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as his successor. The source said Ugwuanyi “is part of the problem and not part of the solution, after cutting his teeth as a partner in crime in the House of Representatives”.
Many commentators in Enugu wonder why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are dragging their feet on investigating Chime, especially as several petitions have been sent to them about how the former governor enriched himself, his two older children, Nnamdi and Tochukwu, and his brother Jide, at public expense.
However, the source said that there may be moves by the EFCC to strike a plea bargain with Chime’s former Chief of Staff, Ifeoma Nwobodo, and grant her immunity from prosecution in exchange for her “spilling the beans” on her former boss’s dodgy deals.
Nwobodo was said to have been involved in money laundering for Chime. She planned to park her behind on a senatorial seat, but ended up not grabbing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for Enugu East from incumbent Gil Nnaji because her loyalty to Chime was in question at the time.