Investigation of the LACC vice chair comes on the heel of a news report in the FrontPageAfrica Newspaper in which it alleged that he (Gbala) is professionally conflicted regarding the ongoing corruption investigation of the National Port Authority (NPA).
According to the investigative report carried in the Monday, August 30, 2021 edition of the FrontPageAfrica Newspaper, Cllr. Gbala, the Managing Director of the NPA and others, supposedly established a company with the sole purpose of awarding the handling services contract at the Port of Buchanan to that company.
Accordingly, speaking at a news conference held at premise of the Commission hours following the publication, the Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, pointed out that the investigation of the LACC’s Vice Chair is an outcome of a Board of Directors’ meeting held following the newspaper’s story.
The LACC boss noted that the investigation and enforcement is being mandated to move swiftly and investigate the matter with immediate effect as of the day of the said order.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Commission has commenced investigation into this grave report that has the propensity to derail the progress we have made as a Commission in the last weeks,” said Cllr. Martin.
“The Division of Investigation and Enforcement here at the LACC has been mandated by me to move swiftly and investigate the matter beginning today,” he furthered.
Cllr. Martin disclosed that the LACC’s Vice Chair has accepted to cooperate fully with the investigation and in so doing has tendered in his leave of absence in a bid to aid the investigation.
Since joining LACC, the integrity of Cllr. Gbala has been at a center of major discussion as he has been in the middle of series of controversies.
It can be recalled that early this year, the former Executive Director of the Commission, Atty. Mohammed Fahnbulleh, accused Cllr. Gbala of being engaged in various acts of corruption and high level of dishonesty.
In a written request made to former Chairperson, Ndubuisi Nwabudike, Atty. Fahnbulleh requested the LACC to initiate an investigation into acts of corruption allegedly committed by the LACC Vice Chairperson.
The allegations immediately resulted into an in-house forensic probe to determine the veracity of Mr. Fahnbulleh’s allegation. However, Gbala was then exonerated by the investigation.
Meanwhile, while investigation into the NPA saga is ongoing, the LACC head vowed that all those that have escaped under the cover of darkness will be extradited in keeping with law.