… Sets-Up Cttee To Probe Former IMC Chairs
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While the Imo State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts is yet to submit its report on the allegation of N19.63 Billion misappropriated by the immediate past administration from the Local Government Accounts, same House of Assembly has again constituted an Adhoc committee to probe what they termed reckless withdrawals as well as disbursement of Local Government funds by the former Interim Management Committee and Local Government Treasurers.
According to the majority leader and member representing Ikeduru State Constituency, Uche Ogbuagu who moved the said motion, he alleged that upon dissolution of the interim management committee constituted by the immediate former governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha that majority of the chairmen in collaboration with Treasurers went ahead to make withdrawals from the local government Accounts, an action he described as criminal.
Speaking on the importance of the motion, Uche Ogbuagu noted that the motion if adopted would not only guarantee and restore the confidence of their constituents who elected them but would further serve as a deterrent to the present interim management Committee who may wish to Siphon the Local Government Accounts in the name of doing one contract and another made it clear that in his local government, the then transition committee chairman allegedly claimed the stadium which he Uche Ogbuagu built and named after an elder statesman, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu as built by the then government and retired millions of naira designated for the said stadium.
Seconding the motion, the member representing Ahiazu Mbaise Hon. Otuibe described the motion as apt pointing out that similar things happened in his constituency.
According to the lawmaker, the former Interim Management Committee chairmen embezzled billions of the local government funds with impunity.
Others that supported the said motion include the member representing Owerri West, Hon. Kanayo Onyemaechi who pointed out that posterity would not forgive the 9th Assembly if the former Interim management Committees are not brought to book.
Conversely, the member representing Mbaitoli, State Constituency Hon. Okey Onyekanma and a PDP member described the motion as an aberration pointing out that there was already a standing committee chaired by Chigozie Nwaneri, member representing Oru East State Constituency, adding that it would make a nonsense of the House to still constitute another committee to look into the same issue.
The Mbaitoli House Member who referred the House to section 128 of the Nigerian constitution maintained that such would lead to double jeopardy opposing the said motion, the member representing Oguta State Constituency, Barr. Ugboma While describing the constitution of an Adhoc committee to investigate the former Local Government administration while a standing committee is already investigating the same issue.
In his ruling, the speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins overruled the opposition adding that section 128 which the PDP minority members were relying on does not apply in the instant case.
He however constituted the Adhoc committee chaired by the member Representing Obowo State Constituency, Kennedy Ibeh to look into the contracts as well as the monies expended by the immediate past interim management committee chairmen.
The committee was given one month to report its findings to the house.
Meanwhile, what could be described as the 21-century drama ensued when the member representing Oguta state constituency Frank Ugboma informed the house that his name which was contained in the motion by Uche Ogbuagu was included without his knowledge and consent.
The House member who felt embarrassed left his seat to warn Uche Ogbuagu not to repeat such.
In response, Ogbuagu at the same plenary contradicted Ugboma saying that he Ugboma was consulted and that he perused through the motion before it was presented.
Ogbuagu who accused the Oguta lawmaker of playing double standard asked him to leave his seat which resulted in a commotion that was calmed immediately by the speaker.