Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo House of Assembly has admitted it received a petition from a whistle blower allegedly revealing how over N70 billion was misappropriated during the former governor Emeka Ihedioha administration.
Speaker Chiji Collins, who admitted the petition is before the House, said due procedures would be followed.
“We have received it in the Assembly, it has come to my table. We supposed to have handled it but because of COVID-19, that is why. I have not presented it to the House but I have seen it. Usually, when a petition comes in, we take it to executive session, then the clerk will list it. So, it is still with me, once we resume, we are going to look into it. It is a serious matter,” he said.
According to a document leaked to Daily Sun in Owerri, the whistle blower claimed that less than eight months Emeka Ihedioha piloted the state, huge amount of money meant for the development could not be accounted for.
The breakdown, according to him, include 2019 fiscal receipts brought forward from governor Rochas Okorocha’s tenure amounted to N48.5 billion. Federal Account Allocation Committee in addition to special allocations which, he said, is N54.319 billion, excluding N13.04 billion Value Added Tax and N14.385 billion (IGR).
The whistle blower further alleged that the Paris Club refunds was about N4.85 billion while the Joint Allocation Committee funds for seven months was put at an average of N3.86 billion per month.
State Universal Basic Education Board fund and the Rural Access Mobility Project he claimed was N17.5 billion and N15 billion respectively.
Similarly, the whistle blower also alleged that Ihedioha has some choice property in Abuja, London and in Imo.
According to him, Ihedioha own a five-star hotel under construction at 4, Chulkee Street Gazope, Asokoro, Abuja, valued at N10 billion.
He further alleged that the former governor has 10 houses acquired at Achike Udenwa, Estate, Imo State through his front who, he said, is his cousin, Chikere, valued at N5 billion.
However, effort to reach the former governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Chibuike Onyeukwu, was futile as his phone line rang without him answering. Also, text and WhatsApp messages sent to the same line were not responded to.
But the Publicity Secretary of PDP, Ogubundu Nwadike dismissed the allegation.
“There is no truth in those things they are saying, all false allegations. We’re used to it. It’s not the first time we’re hearing this. Emeka Ihedioha have been in government since 2003, just his seven months in office we heard he lands with Helicopter in his village. What we’re asking people is to provide proof. He shouldn’t be an audio governor, there shouldn’t be a media trial, they can say anything they want, it’s not the first time. Magu is on the front burner now. If anybody have an evidence they should go to the appropriate authority.”