By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo and now Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria through a Court ruling may have left office but Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker House of Representatives and his successor who is still go over the hand over documents and his aides are not finding it funny with what they met on ground.
Ihedioha , had stopped short of describing the state as bankrupt as Okorocha, the former had plundered the resources of the state within his eight years of misrule. The governor may have rubbished the flamboyant former Imo state records when he told stakeholders recently at Owerri, the state Capital that his predecessor’s eight years in office ‘’plunged the state into unstainable debt’’.
Ihedioha, who could not hide feelings about the previous All Progressive government in the state disclosed that the interim report of the probe panel set up to investigate how the revenue allocations to the state from the Federal government and the internally generated revenue, IGR, in the last eight years findings show a ‘’consistent pattern of massive looking and stripping of public assets, dismantling and carting away of public property. The property, carted away, according to him were electric poles, vehicles, trucks, office equipment and furnitures.
The former Lawmaker who could not under understand how someone who calls himself a leader could watch over the looting of a state he governed for eight years with all the pecks of office with the’’ last minute sales of government property at giveaway prices and unlawful allocation of and backdating of Certificate of occupancy’’.
The report which was cited by The Value News Magazine shows the panel uncovered a N100 billion debt which was left behind by Okorocha for the Ihedioha Administration to settle. The governor’s anger may not be how to settle the debt but that there was not on ground to show how he spent the huge amount.
The governor was said to have sent a message to his predecessor to return all the monies , he and members of his family had allegedly siphoned from the state treasury. Chris Okewulu, Chief of Staff to the Imo state governor, lamented that 95 percent of the projects which Okorocha, the former governor of the state claimed to have executed in his eight years rule only existed in his own imagination. He noted that the state was in a very financial situation because of lack of vision by the former leadership.
In spite of the government misgiving about the debt, the Creditors, according to impeccable sources, are not taking chances , to recover of the huge amounts owed them by the state government as some of them have taken their case to Court to force the Ihedioha Administration to pay.
The governor confirmed that his governor that they have received over N30 billion worth of Garnishee Orders from the Contractors, for the Contracts that were fraudulently awarded by the previous Administration. The battleline appears have been drawn between the duo who are using everything within their powers to carpet each other.
Okorocha, the former Imo state governor who would not allow his eight years record of transforming the state to be rubbished by Ihedioha, was said to have challenged him to publish the list and particulars of the 67 vehicles and the details of the N50 billion property which he had claimed his family made away with. Note that the hastily constituted Committee on the Recovery of government properties from the previous political appointees, Headed by Jasper Ndubuaku, had uncovered how Okorocha and some of his appointees took away 67 vehicles and N50 billion property belonging to the state government. Okewulu, the Chief of Staff, on his part, said the former governor left with 31 government vehicles and N40 billion.
But the governor in his own claim claimed that an undisclosed number of vehicles and N70 billion were taken away by the former governor and his family members. The worry in the heart of many was that the trio of the governor, Okewulu, the Chief of Staff and Nduaku, the Chairman, of the state Asset Recovery Committee, have not come into agreement to know the number of vehicles and amount which the former governor and his political appointees, left office with.
Political watchers would want Ihedioha, Okewulu and Ndubuaku, to go back to the drawing board to put their house in order to be able to nail Okorocha , and his political appointees over assets and monies taken away from the state treasury.
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