The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Imo State chapter, yesterday in Owerri accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of squandering N26.27 billion left by his predecessor, governor Ikedi Ohakim, in various bank accounts in the state.
The association also charged the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate principal officers of the administration for alleged involvement in phantom contracts.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the legal adviser to ALGON, Chief C. O. C. Akaolisa disclosed that former governor Ohakim left about N26.27 billion in different accounts owned by the state, which include: N13.3 billion bond proceeds in UBA Plc, N3 billion SUBEB project accounts with BankPHB now Keystone Bank, N488 million VAT account in Zenith Bank Plc, N450 million internally generated revenue with Zenith Bank, N2.5 billion local government joint account with BankPHB.
Other funds the association accused Governor Okorocha of concealing include N500 million agric loan account with Access Bank, N250 million fertilizer sales account with Oceanic Bank Plc, N3.6 million JAAC account with BankPHB, N500 million MDGs projects account with Fidelity Bank Plc, N1 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) with Zenith Bank and N670 million Imo children education funds.
ALGON also alleged that these funds, which were not captured in appropriation budget had been illegally spent without the knowledge of Imo people. On the N458 million allegedly collected by the deputy governor from some contractors, the association called on EFCC to wade in and wondered how a three kilometre road could be awarded for N1.2 billion at N400 million per kilometre.
They called on EFCC to, apart from the Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso, investigate the contractor and managing director of JPROS International Nigeria Limited, Mr. Joseph Dina, the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Dr. Pascal Obi, Accountant General, George Eche, Commissioner for Finance, Deacon Chike Okafor and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mr. Alex Nebedum. Others named for investigation include, Director of Civil, Ministry of Works, Mr. Egbuka, Chief Okey Nwosu, and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prince Eze Madumere.
The association also called on the anti-graft agency to investigate the Imo State House of Assembly Speaker, Benjamin Uwajumogu, for awarding contracts in the state and installing his own asphalt plant in Owerri where “almost all the asphalt used in the construction were procured.”