He told journalists yesterday in Lagos that the allegations were merely designed to tarnish his image and that of his family and vowed to fight until “my innocence is proved.”
He explained that the said contractor, who he met for the first time at the construction site with the governor gave him only a bottle of blue label whisky in his house. He gave details of the transactions leading to the gift: “The contractor had absconded. I later discovered that 100 percent payment had been made upfront without due process. He was even overpaid by N200 million.
“He came back and came to meet me at the Ministry of Works, which I was overseeing, and told me he had a gift of a bottle of blue label whisky for me. He said he will bring it to the house. There is no resident of Owerri, who does not know my house on MCC Road. He brought it in the evening.”
He urged security agencies to investigate the allegations of bribe money of N458 million said to have been made to him through lodgements in three separate bank accounts allegedly owned by companies he had interests in.
Further acquitting himself of the allegation, the deputy governor denied having any interest in the said companies, charging Nigerians and all interested parties to verify his claims at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). On the call logs, which the committee of the House investigating him was relying on, he said he had applied to MTN through the director general of the State Security Services (SSS), to avail them of all his call logs from January to June, 2012.
“I have applied to MTN, through the director general of the SSS to make public my call logs between January and June, 2012, for the people to judge. They said me, and the contractor exchanged smss (short message services) over the payments to the three companies they said are belonging to me between January and June 2012.” Reviewing the situation further, Agbaso revealed that the contract put at N1.5 billion, was given and approved by the governor.
“The principal secretary to the governor conveyed the letter of approval to me. 100 percent upfront payment was made.
“I found out that payment had been made four months earlier. No due process was followed. I later discovered that N200 million payment had earlier been made by the Government House. If due process was followed, the over payment would have been detected.
“The man has free access to the governor, the commissioner for finance. Why would he pay me bribe money? Why would a man pay such huge amount, 46 per cent of the contract sum to a man who did him no favours at all? The target and objective of this drama is very clear to all discerning minds.”
A high court in Owerri on Monday stopped the impeachment proceedings initiated by the State House of Assembly.