From the very beginning, former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain's name was coming up again and again in connection with corruption in the Padma bridge project. But the government was brushing it aside. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina even called him a 'patriot'. Finally when the World Bank refused to sign any deal if Abul Hossain is in his position, the government removed him from his post.
The World Bank returned and the investigation started again. From the December 10, 2012 issue of The Daily Star we learned that Ramesh Shah, arrested official of Canadian firm SNC Lavalin, in his diary had mentioned Abul Hossain as the recipient of 4 percent out of 10 percent bribe from the sum fixed for bridge supervision work. The 10 percent is equivalent to tk 38 crore, sources said.
The ACC team submitted its draft report naming Syed Abul Hossain, former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury and businessman Nixon Chowdhury, brother of ruling Awami League whip Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury.
The name of the three were dropped in the final report and the World Bank's external panel which visited ACC the second time left Dhaka becoming very unhappy over the omission of Syed Abul Hossain's name as a top corruption suspect in the project.
So the question arises, is Abul Hossain more important than the Padma bridge, the dream of millions of people of Bangladesh?