Okorocha to refundN106b, says commission of Enquiry

Okorocha to refundN106b, says commission of Enquiry

The judicial commission of Enquiryquiry on   Contract Awards: Judicial in Imo State has recommended that the past administration of Rochas Okorocha  between May 2011 and 2019 in Imo State should return  N106b to the coffers of the present administration.
The Chairman, Justice Benjamin Iheaka, while submitting his report to Governor Hope Uzodimma  recommended that the amount should be returned by  those who played key roles in the contract awards that turned out to be a scam.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary/ Media Adviser to the governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, quoted Iheaka as explaining that “there were monumental fraud that were orchestrated by the contractors in the period under review with strong collusion with some civil servants who helped in the fraud which was evidenced in over-pricing of the value of the contracts executed in the State.”
The report said that there were fragrant disregard for due process and the rules of Bureau for Public Procurement Act in the Imo State which was exhibited in “outrageous contract pricing and shady contract executions as well as payment for non performing contracts.”
 Iheaka also said there were evidences of non-existing and phoney companies that were used to siphon State Government funds to the tone of N106billion.
The Chairman therefore appealed to the Governor not to sweep their report and recommendations under the carpet, but to do whatever is in his power to ensure that those indicted are made to return the monies.
The Commission, however, indentified some civil servants who were honest, dedicated and resisted every pressure by the contract scammers to use their offices to defraud the State Government during the period under review.
Receiving the report, Governor Uzodimma assured that all those indicted and identified in the report as having played a role in frittering away public funds through criminal ways will be made to return them.
He said the opportunity will be given to them to return the monies as the state is in dire need of funds to deal with pressing developmental issues in the face of dwindling resources.
But Okorocha described as a ruse and challengedthe government in Imo, led by Senator Hope Uzodinma to publish the Iheaka report verbatim, so that Imo people in particular and Nigerians in general, could read the report and see how the Panel arrived at N106 billion, which they said that Senator Okorocha should refund.
A statement signed by his Media Adviser, Sam Onwuemeodo, said that no serious panel would have made such recommendation, adding, “It could only take a “Ben Johnson” Panel to do that. And let the government publish the list of Contractors who handled contracts under Okorocha, State the Contracts they did, how much they were paid respectively, how they were paid and what they should have been paid, in the estimation of the Panel members.
He said, “Governor Uzodinma should explain what he has done with the N119 billion he has Collected from the federation account and N6.4 billion ISOPADEC fund. Vis-a-viz the IGR. The governor said he came through “Ben Johnson” way and since January 14, 2020 when he came on board, all his actions and utterances have been “Ben Johnson” way.

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