George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Imo government has approved the request of the Auditor General for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs to take necessary steps to recover N19.63 billion allegedly siphoned from the State-Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC), through the Bureau for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs (BLGCA), by the sacked government of Emeka Ihedioha, in seven months in office.
The staggering amount was allgedly siphoned either for spurious and phony projects, projects/contracts not executed, and or through huge cash withdrawals for undisclosed purposes.
At a press conference in Owerri, yesterday, the commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the misappropriated funds was discovered during a routine audit of the accounts and records of JAAC with the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs by the Local Government Auditor General for the fiscal year ended 31/12/2019.
He said government’s action was in line with the NEW IMO Agenda to entrench a resilient and transparent public service and restore financial discipline and rule of law premised on extant laws pertaining to the Custody, Management and Appropriation of Public Funds.
However, when contacted, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, Chief Press Secretary to ex- governor Ihedioha, declined comment.