LAHORE: The accountability court extended on Monday the remand of Lahore Development Authority former director general Ahad Cheema and Bismillah Engineering Company CEO Shahid Shafiq into NAB custody.
Both the accused booked in Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing scheme scam were sent on a 15-day remand after NAB officials requested the accountability court to extend their physical remand as investigators have to probe the case further.
Cheema and Shafiq were arrested after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) detected illegalities and corruption worth billions in a deal between Paragon Housing Society and Punjab Land Development Company to construct the Ashiana housing scheme, a low-cost housing project of the Punjab government.
The former director general of LDA was arrested on February 21, after which the Punjab bureaucracy went up in arms in solidarity with their colleague.
Moreover, the Punjab Assembly also passed a resolution against the NAB and in favour of Cheema.
Hearing a separate case in Lahore on Sunday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had expressed displeasure at the protest by Punjab’s bureaucrats and provincial assembly.
A NAB spokesperson had earlier said that Cheema misused his authority with criminal intent to award a contract to Bismillah Engineering, which is a C-4 company part of the joint venture Lahore Casa Developers that was ineligible for the contract.
The NAB spokesperson further stated that 61,000 citizens had filed requests for the Ashiana Housing Scheme and paid 60 million rupees in processing fees. The cost of the project had increased due to a delay.
Cheema had also obtained a 32-kanal piece of land in Lahore Cantonment, registered in the name of his cousin and siblings Ahmed Cheema and Sadia Mansoor, said the NAB spokesperson.