…Accuses Chieftaincy Affairs Of Collecting over N2B As Kick-Back From Former IMC Chairs
While the Imo State House of Assembly Committee on public accounts are still investigating how the alleged N19.63 Billion developed wings and flew out of the Local Government Accounts within the seven months administration of the immediate former governor of Imo, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Auditor General of Local Government Imo Barr. R.O Nwosu has again called on the chairman house committee on public accounts in Imo State House of Assembly Hon. Nwaneri and his members to cause, the Bureau for Local Governments and chieftaincy affairs, to refund to the local government accounts, a sum of two billion four hundred and forty million nine hundred and twenty-five thousand seventy-nine naira sixty-three kobo (N2.404,925,079.63) being the total sum of the returns or kick-back from the interim management committee chairmen to Bureau for local government and chieftaincy affairs, which the former House of Representative member, Eze Mayor served as the Special Adviser to the former Governor, Ihedioha on.
This followed the invitation by the Imo State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts to the Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGs) Treasurers of the Local Governments to appear before the committee to give accounts of the financial activities of the local governments starting from January first, 2019 to December 2019.
This, however, called for the audit report of the Auditor General of the local governments Barr. Nwosu whose report informed the House about the said kickback and demanded the return of the said sum to the appropriate accounts.
According to the report, the twenty-seven Interim management committee chairmen were compelled to raise cheques in advance and remitted the above sum to the Bureau for Local Governments and chieftaincy Affairs within the period of September to December 2019 into the Zenith bank Accounts Number 1013641332.
The Auditor-General, however, appealed with the committee to cause the permanent secretary Dr. Mrs. Pat Ekennia, and the Director of Accounts, Mr. Israel N. Osigwe who are the signatories to give accounts of the sum lodged into the said bank account.
Recall that the incumbent Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma had upon assumption of office last January assured Imo people that his administration would probe the former Governors starting from Ikedi Ohakim to Ihedioha to ensure that every kobo of the state expanded through corrupt measures would be recovered.
Probably in line with the above assurances, the Auditor General of the Local Government recently demanded approval from the state government to audit the seven months administration of the immediate former governor Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihediha as it concerned the Local Governments in Imo.
This however unveiled the allegation that the said administration allegedly embezzled from the local government accounts N19.63billion.
The said misappropriated fund, however, was greeted with various reactions in Imo and beyond particularly from the opposition.
One of the persons who has not ceased to react over the said allegation was the Special Adviser to the then-governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Chukwudi Mayor Eze.
The said Eze in one of his replies to the Government of Imo State described the allegation of embezzlement as false and described it as comic relief targeted at relieving people of the Covid-19 stress.
Mayor Eze who has been contesting the PDP primaries for Orlu, Orsu, and Oru East Federal Constituency since 2011 without success also vowed to renounce his citizenship of Imo and Nigeria if the allegation of N19.63 billion becomes through after investigation.
Available information to Lead revealed that the Imo State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts would after their interrogations with the Local Government Officers also invite the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to explain to the government what in actuality happened to the said sum.