LAHORE: In a major development, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to end the ongoing investigation against former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) DG Ahad Cheema and eight others, on Monday.
In this connection, the NAB informed the accountability court hearing the LDA City case about the decision. As a result, the judge, Jawad-ul-Hassan issued notices to the respective counsels for presenting arguments on September 11.
The move came as the NAB Executive Board decided last month to close an inquiry against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Ahad Cheema relating to the alleged corruption in the LDA City project. However, the anti-graft body didn’t find any evidence. In February 2018, the NAB had initially arrested Ahad Cheema in relation to the Ashiana Housing Scheme corruption scandal for illegally allotting land for the housing scheme in Lahore.
Ahad Cheema was serving in the Punjab Power Company at the time of his arrest. He is has been credited for the early and swift completion of different power projects launched by the Shehbaz Sharif-led provincial government.
That’s why the then Punjab government had reacted strongly to the move, labelling the arrest as “injustice with a dutiful and hardworking officer” and “beyond NAB’s power”.
However, the LHC granted him post-arrest bail as the Bureau failed to file reference in the LDA City housing scheme. His counsel had argued that the anti-graft body had initially arrested Ahad Cheema in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case on Feb 21, 2018, exhausted 90-day physical remand and then diverted (his arrest) to illegal assets and the LDA City case. He was referring to his indictment by an accountability court on a charge of accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income in January 2019.