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Verdict on Ahad Cheema, Shahid Shafique’s indictment reserved

LAHORE: The accountability court of Lahore reserved its verdict Monday on the indictment of Ahad Cheema and Shahid Shafique, accused in Ashiana Housing Scheme scam.

Accountability Court judge Najamul Hasan took up the hearing of possession of illegal assets and alleged corruption in Ashiana Housing scheme.

According to NAB officials, Ahad Cheema, as director general of Land and Development Authority (LDA), gave the contract of Ashiana Housing Scheme to a company in Rs 14 billion whereas; it is unlawful to make any agreement above Rs 150 million with a company.

It was due to the hired company’s alleged incompetence that the project could not be completed in a duration of three years, which brought upon a loss of Rs 640 million to the government, NAB said.

The anti-graft watchdog further apprised the court that 16 thousand poor citizens paid Rs610 million in Ashiana Iqbal Housing scheme.

While reserving the verdict on indictment, the court sent the accused on judicial remand and adjourned the hearing until September 4.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference, comprises of more than 3000 pages, in which Ahad Cheema and others are accused of plundering national exchequer with embezzlement of billions of rupees.

The other suspects include proprietor of Bismillah Engineering Company Shahid Shafiq, Israr Saeed, Arif Majeed as well as Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) officials Imtiaz Haider and Bilal Qidwai.

It is worth mentioning that senior bureaucrat Fawad Hasan Fawad is also accused in Ashiana Housing scam and is in NAB’s custody at present. Fawad has twice served as principal secretary of former premiers Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif.

 

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