- A panel set up by the Imo government claims Rochas Okorocha, former governor of the state, diverted N6 billion
- The panel listed some other findings in a report it presented to Governor Emeka Ihedioha
- Romanus Ezeogu, chairman of the panel, says another N1 billion was discovered lodged in a bank
There seems to be a fresh trouble for the immediate past governor of Imo, Rochas Okorocha, as he has been indicted by a panel which says he diverted N6 billion.
The fund, according to the panel, was meant for the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) and could not be accounted for.
Daily Sun reports that Romanus Ezeogu, who chaired the panel, submitted the report to Governor Emeka Ihedioha on Wednesday, January 8.
“The panel findings on finance and 'Monterey Bay' transactions in the commission showed that ex-governor Okorocha had administered the accounts of the commission as a slush fund as over N6,044,774,341.37 could not be accounted for,” Ezeogu said.
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According to the panel chairman, the real issue concerns what happened to the original 40% monthly derivation fund allocated to ISOPADEC.
“Governor Okorocha should be held responsible for the missing funds. The law establishing ISOPADEC provides its funding from the 13% derivation from the federation account,” he added.
The panel also claimed that the former governor, now a senator, took N422 million from ISOPADEC’s fund for the purchase pre-inauguration vehicles from a car shop and also diverted N200 million to purchase transformers during the 2019 campaigns.
The panel questioned the claim by Okorocha that he reportedly spent N400 million on the abandoned Marine University at Osemoto in Oguta.
Also, the panel said it found N1 billion lodged in the Obinze branch of a bank (name withheld) which was withdrawn without details or description of any kind.
A further breakdown of the panel report showed that Pascal Obi, former principal secretary to Okorocha, got N35 million from ISOPADEC’s funds and recommended that he should be summoned to explain what happened to the money.
The governor appreciated the panel and promised to study the report. He said this was not a witch-hunt, but that justice would prevail.
Reacting, however, Okorocha said Ihedioha’s administration is vindictive and deceitful. He expressed the belief that nothing good would come out of the investigation.
Sam Onwuemeodo, spokesperson for Okorocha, quoted the former governor as saying Ihedioha has no programme for the people and that is why he is foot-dragging and chasing shadows. He also mentioned some achievements by Okorocha through ISOPADEC.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, recently predicted that the governorship candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Imo, Hope Uzodinma, would take the seat from Ihedioha.
Another clergy, Pastor Modestus Kelechi, however, replied the fiery Catholic priest saying that Ihedioha would complete the first four-year term and would be re-elected in 2023.
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