Former CEOs of the company, Islam and Waseem Ajmal, were presented in an accountability court today — a day after they were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore.
Islam, the PML-N ticket holder from NA-59 Rawalpindi-III who is contesting against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has served as the chief executive officer of the Saaf Pani Company and is accused of having awarded contracts for 84 water treatment plants at a higher price. His predecessor Ajmal is also accused in the case.
As the hearing went under way, Islam’s lawyer contended that the proceedings against his client were based on the basis of allegations. NAB neither has evidence against my client nor was a complaint against him lodged with the anti-graft body, the defence lawyer said.
Islam’s lawyer asserted that his client was contesting the upcoming polls against Nisar. He accused NAB and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of collusion for political victimization of his client.
Ajmal then told the court that he had been employed by the government for 25 years, however, he had been demoted to Officer on Special Duty (OSD) after he refused to follow the instructions of the provincial chief minister. The defendant further said that he had fully cooperated with NAB and provided the anti-graft body with all documents. “We advertised for new contracts after the project was completed before its estimated completion date. I was removed from my position for awarding the contract on the basis of merit,” he said.
NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua argued that Islam was a director when Waseem Ajmal was appointed as the CEO. He added that the installation of eight plant in Dunyapur, Hasilpur, Khanpur, Manchana Abad among other areas was done during Islam’s tenure.
Islam was the chief executive officer of the Saaf Pani Company, the NAB prosecutor said, adding that his hiring took place before a notice was issued. The prosecution alleged that the correct estimate of printing the weather sheet was not provided by the company during Islam’s tenure. Janjua also informed the court that the building for the company was bought from Ali and Fatima Developers.
The NAB prosecutor requested the court to grant a 15-day physical remand of the accused. The court then reserved its verdict on the plea.
Later, a 14-day physical remand of the accused was approved by the accountability court.