NAB wakes up from slumber, files reference against top ex-CDA officials

  • Anti-graft body to prove corruption worth at least Rs471.498m in construction of Shakarparian cultural complex
  • Dozens of investigations, inquiries against serving and retired CDA officials still pending

ISLAMABAD: In what seems to be a long-awaited end of slumber, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a reference against ex-chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, CDA finance member Saeedur Rehaman and others regarding the alleged corruption in the construction of a cultural complex at Shakarparian.

As per details, Elahi and Rehman allegedly ordered for the stoppage of work on the under-construction project without any clear reason. Their alleged misuse of authority or negligence caused a huge loss to the national exchequer worth at least Rs 471.498 million.

The anti-graft body had initiated scores of investigations, probes and inquiries against CDA officials alleged of corrupt practices in the course of performing their duties. The corruption reference will be heard in an accountability court in Islamabad. The reference was filed by investigation officer Malik Muhammad Zubair before the accountability court judge on Wednesday.

NAB Rawalpindi DG Irfan Naeem Mangi said that, in light of the directions of NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, all out efforts are being made to recover the looted money from swindlers and corrupt individuals.

He said that NAB chief has categorically directed to all NAB officers to pursue corruption cases proactively as per NAB’s standard operating procedures (SOPs). He added that the investigations should be proceeded transparently and on merit to take necessary measures to arrest corrupt persons and proclaimed offenders in order to eradicate corruption from the country.

It is pertinent to mention here that in the past inquiries and investigations were undertaken by the NAB, however, few references were filed by NAB despite the fact that departmental inquiries were underway and similar cases were already under investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). However, little to no headway has been made on any of the cases despite the change of guard at highest echelons of the accountability watchdog.

In 38 NAB probes of which references are yet to be filed, there are some high-profile cases like irregularities in Diplomatic Enclave shuttle service, where it was alleged that the contract has been given to a company who was already a defaulter of the CDA due to favouritism.

Some of the cases under investigation by the NAB include the allotment of residential plots to 113 officers, discrepancies in payments made to Margalla Tower affectees, embezzlement/misappropriation of license fee in Directorate of Municipal Authority, irregularities pertaining to Multi Professional Housing Cooperative Housing Society E-11, theft of street light poles from Koral Chowk to Rawat Islamabad Highway, among others.

Besides aforementioned high-profile cases, NAB has initiated several investigations against deputy director generals, assistant directors, audit officers, tehsildar and other officials for their involvement in the alleged corruption, misuse of official authority and connivance in illegal allotments, promotions and postings.

In recent times, retired Justice Iqbal, during the end of PML-N tenure, initiated an inquiry against the recently inaugurated Metropolitan Club by Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz. NAB chief instructed the Rawalpindi head to initiate an inquiry into the Rs 1.9 billion project.