LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz central leader MNA Hamza Shehbaz Sharif on Friday appeared before an investigation team of the National Accountability Bureau Lahore (NAB) to give his sworn statement in the Saaf Paani Project scam.
NAB had summoned him last week after investigating four arrested persons in the case. NAB believes that Hamza had access to information and record of the project. He had presided over a few meetings of the project.
On Friday, he was grilled for quite some time. He was also asked to fill a pro forma.
NAB had also summoned Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif to appear on June 4, near the end of the provincial government’s tenure.
Earlier, NAB had detained four accused identified as Nasir Qadir, Dr Zaheeruddin, Muhammad Saleem and Muhammad Masood Akhtar in the scam.
Nasir Qadir used to work as PSPC’s chief procurement officer. Dr Zaheeruddin was appointed as the project’s chief technical officer while Saleem Akhtar worked as a procurement and contract specialist. Masoood Akhtar, managing director of KSB Pumps was affiliated with the company as a contractor.
According to NAB, the accused colluded to cause losses in millions of rupees to the national exchequer.
They installed 116 overpriced water filtration plants in Bahawalpur, while filing fictitious estimates in connection with the plants.
Meanwhile, an accountability court granted NAB three-day physical remand of former director-general of Lahore Development Authority Ahad Khan Cheema and proprietor of Bismillah Engineering Shahid Shafiq.
The accused were arrested by NAB in connection with investigations into alleged embezzlement in Ashiyana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme.
NAB had claimed Cheema and others had illegally awarded the project to an ineligible firm, Casa Developers. They also found evidence that Cheema had taken 30 kanals of land as graft.
The cost of the land was paid using an account of Paragon Housing Scheme.
NAB also accused Cheema of accumulating assets beyond his means.
Two of the accused in the case had agreed to become approvers. NAB is now seeking Cheema’s custody to delve deeper into his assets.
Later, talking to the media, Hamza said if someone has a clean record he should not be afraid of any accountability.
”I have come to the NAB office as a common man who abides by the laws.”
He said that he would appear again, if called, and “will succeed, God willing”.
Hamza said that he was put behind bars for six months in Benazir Bhutto’s government in 1993 when he was a minor, and added in the end he was declared innocent.
The son of Punjab chief minister said, “Law is equal for all and demanded application of law on Asif Zardari for money laundering and on Imran Khan for his alleged corruption in one billion tree project.”
Hamza said, “What kind of change Imran can bring with the help of Jehangir Tareen who is a loan defaulter and Aleem Khan who is a land grabber.”