NAB to produce Shahid Shafiq before court today


LAHORE, FEB 26 (DNA) – National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will produce Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bismillah Engineering Services Shahid Shafiq before an accountability court here today (Monday) to obtain 15-day physical remand for interrogation. According to NAB officials, Shafiq’s company was part of Lahore Caca Developers, a joint venture, that was unqualified for the contract.

Shafiq was arrested on Saturday after it was discovered that a contract worth Rs 14 billion granted to his company.

The accused was produced before a district court under stringent security measures on Sunday, where the judicial magistrate granted one-day physical remand of Shafiq.

Last week, the anti-corruption watchdog had arrested former Director General (DG) Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Cheema, drawing sharp reaction from a section of the Punjab bureaucracy and PML-N leaders.

Cheema, who is now serving as chief executive of the Punjab Power Company, was arrested from his office located in Gulbarg area of Lahore.

The former LDA chief has been accused of misusing his authority with criminal intent to award a contract to Bismillah Engineering on basis of nepotism.

The anti-graft body spokesperson alleged that Cheema caused a loss of Rs 455 million to the national exchequer after awarding contracts on favouritism.

On Friday, the NAB investigators obtained access to mobile and laptop data of Cheema to investigate the data and emails. It was then said that the investigators would also approach technical experts to secure and restore the data which had been either formatted or deleted.

According to the NAB notice, an inquiry against officials of the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) and LDA revealed that “prima facie Shahbaz Sharif, being the Chief Minister Punjab, had ordered certain illegal acts in sheer violation of the laid down procedures for functioning of PLDC due to which the company bore a huge financial loss.”

“Shahbaz had ordered cancellation of contract of Aashiana-e-Iqbal to a successful bidder, leading to award of the contract to other builder, which resulted into a loss of Rs 193 million approximately,” the notice reads.

He also directed PLDC to assign the project of Aashiana-e-Iqbal to LDA resulting into award of contracts to M/s Lahore Casa Developers (JV), thus causing loss of Rs 715 million approximately and ultimately failure of the project, according to the notice.

It says the chief minister had also directed PLDC to award consultancy services of Aashiana-e-Iqbal project for Rs 192 million approximately, but its actual cost was Rs 35 million.