Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Imo State House Assembly has vowed to get to the root of how an alleged sum of N19.63 billion was misappropriated under the administration of the former governor of the state, Emeka Ihedioha, despite actions by the shortlived government to halt the process through court.
The Chairman of the committee, Chigozie Nwaneri, representing Oru East State constituency, who briefed journalists in Owerri shortly after a seating, said that the committee is not out to witch hunt anyone but that its aim is to recover all public funds.
Vowing to be neutral in its fact finding, Nwaneri explained that the committee had been constituted while Ihedioha was overseeing the affairs of the state.
Nwaneri further stated that the committee is only verifying the audit report of the Auditor General of the Local Governments from January 1st to 31st of December 2019.
“The committee has been there when the previous government was in power. Uzodimma has not reshuffled it, it has remain the same, not biased and just on fact finding on what the Auditor General has audited, our work is to only make sure that he is right,” Nwaneri stated.
The committee chairman affirmed that they have the backing of the constitution and rules of the state to look into such reports just as he emphasised that the court cannot impinge on its investigation.
He, however, maintained that the committee is not investigating Ihedioha but is rather interested in finding how funds were missing during the time of review.
Nwaneri explained further that “Uzodimma inherited all the committees of the state House of Assembly. We are not investigating Ihedioha, but we are following the rules of the state. PAC gets its report from audit report of the Auditor General of the local government. We verify and send back to EFCC.
“Emeka Ihedioha constituted this committee. It’s s unfortunate the table is turning on him,” Nwaneri said.
Other members of the committee – Kanayo Onyemaechi (Owerri West) Arthor Egwim (Ideato North) and Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West) – were present at the press briefing.