How Okorocha Ripped Off Imo state

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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