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Former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has described Governor Hope Uzodimma as a man weighed down by credibility crisis and struggling for public acceptance.
Okorocha stated this in response to his indictment in a fraud to a tune of N106 billion by the Justice Benjamin Iheaka-led panel probing contracts which were awarded during his eight years tenure.
The panel inaugurated by Uzodinma had demanded that the former governor refund the monies which it claimed was fraudulently expended on fictitious contracts.
However, Okorocha, in a statement by his spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, refuted the panel’s claim urging that details of its findings be made public.
“For almost nine months on seat, the government in Imo has been struggling for acceptance,” he said.
According to Okorocha:
“In his independence day speech, the governor said that he inherited a systematic fraudulent system from Ihedioha. Two days after, he said that Okorocha should refund N106 billion. We challenge the 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.”
Okorocha further said that he did not believe that the chairman of the panel, a judge, could go ahead to submit a report on a matter that was pending at a Federal High Court in which the presiding judge had ordered for the maintenance of the status quo.
“No serious panel would have made such recommendation. 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.
“Governor Uzodimma should explain what he has done with the N119 billion he has collected from the federation account and N6.4 billion ISOPADEC fund vis-à-vis the IGR,” Okorocha’s statement said.