From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Imo State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem, along with combined team of armed security agents stormed a warehouse owned by former Imo State Senator Rochas Okorocha along Aba Road, Owerri, recovering items belonging to the State Government but have been converted to personal use by the ex-governor.
Among the items recovered were over 5,000 containers of various accessories carefully concealed in a 200 by 55 feet warehouse belonging to Okorocha.
Some of the items recovered, according to our correspondent who was conducted around the properties with others, include streetlight accessories, solar panel with its converter, artificial palm tree used in decorating the roads and traffic light equipment.
Machines belonging to the defunct state industry, Nsu tiles in Ehime Mbano was not spared. A mixer and mould machine was among the properties removed from the moribund industry.
Our correspondent found that some of the important machines have already been installed at the back of the massive warehouse alleged to being constructed for Okorocha’s new ceramic industry.
Briefing reporters shortly after the display of the items allegedly looted by Okorocha while leaving office, Ebegbulem disclosed that his ministry was able to got wind of the hidden properties through a whistle blower before storming the place for confirmation.
According to Ebegbulem, ‘you will recall that Governor Hope Uzodimma earlier raised an alarm that some State Government properties were being hidden in a warehouse at Aba Road, so when the information got to us, we moved in and this is what we saw.
‘You can see for yourselves, he is planning to set up a ceramic industry with the machines and equipment from our own Nsu tiles converting it into his own private use,’ Ebegbulem said.
Some of the security men guarding the warehouse, who do not want their name mentioned, also confessed to being employed by the serving senator to keep an eye on the properties.
One of them who works for the State Government-disbanded Imo Community Watch, said: ‘It is our Oga the former governor that is paying us to stay here, sometimes they use to come and pick some things from here but it has been long since they came here.’