From Stanley Uzoaru , Owerri
Imo Elders Forum has joined the call for the probe of alleged contract scam to the tune of N106billion involving former governor Rochas Okorocha.
The Justice Iheaka-led panel set up by the state government to investigate the matter had indicted Okorocha for the graft even as it called for the refund of the N106 billion alleged to have been spent on fictitious contracts in eight years reign by the ex-governor.
Okorocha, however, debunked the panel’s claim, calling for the public publication of details of the report saying he judiciously utilised the state’s fund on a myriad of verifiable projects, including numerous road projects.
But Imo elders, yesterday in Owerri, urged Governor Hope Uzodimma to take proactive steps to recover the misappropriated funds.
Spokesperson for the group, Bob Njemanze, advised the Uzodimma to avoid sentiments and go ahead to enforce the recommendations of the panel report.
“Okorocha should go back and organised himself to refund and return both monies and property he carted away. The challenge for Uzodimma will be if for any reason for consideration, he is either blackmailed or compromised into not redressing the situation. Imo people are looking up to see what the attitude and approach of the administration would be to such devastation that was brought on Imo State,” Njemanze said.
The elder statesman has also advised the governor to avoid media war on the scam, adding that it would be diversionary to engage in such war.
“Those who handle Uzodimma media should equally avoid involving or dragging into media war on this issue. The action is criminality not sentiment,” he said.