Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Supreme Court judgement that pronounced Governor Hope Uzodinma as the new governor of Imo State has continued to brew crisis in the state as two public servants lay claim to the office of the Auditor-General of the state.
Our correspondent gathered that before Uzodinma was sworn in, the Auditor-General of the state, Osita Nwosu, was removed by a committee led by Okey Anyanwu which claimed that his date for retirement had elapsed.
But on the contrary, Nwosu told our correspondent that the committee that sacked him was instructed to look into the affairs of the department from 2015 to 2019, but the committee, he alleged, changed its term of reference and commenced from 2011.
Nwosu claimed that as an appointed public servant, only the state House of Assembly can remove him by two-third votes.
He further disclosed that his retirement date would have been in June 2020 before it was cut short by the committee, which now appointed Dominic Edemobi who was retired by ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration after 37 years in service.
Although Nwosu has been kicking against the alleged injustice done to him, he intensified his fight when the tenure of Emeka Ihedioha abruptly ended.
“I am still the auditor-general until it is proved otherwise by the state Assembly. How can they bring in somebody who the government has retired after serving for 37 years? They were being unfair to me,” Nwosu said.
Narrating how he was forced out of office, Nwosu said: “They came one morning with thugs apparently to send me packing but God saved me from them.”
However, an insider source in the Auditor-General’s office disclosed that Nwosu was retired because he hailed from Okorocha’s council; so the fear was that he might be dancing to Okorocha’s tunes.
When Edemobi was contacted, he also claimed that he is the authentic auditor- general of the state.
“The Civil Service rule states it clearly that when you are due for retirement that you go; that was what happened to him; I never hijacked any seat; they wrote a letter calling me back,” Edemobi said.