According to information being reported in mainstream media outlets, a delegation from the EFCC is currently ransacking through files in Owerri.
They are probing the immediate past Governor Ikedi Ohakim for alleged mismanagement of N18.5billion out of the N40bilion bond secured in June, 2007. The team is also probing Governor Rochas Okorocha over alleged abuse of the Joint state and Local Government Account. A source from the EFCC disclosed the following to THE NATION.
“They are being probed for their alleged roles in the mismanagement of the N18.5billion secured out of the N40bilion bond applied for by the Imo State Government in June 2009. The bond was supposedly secured to finance the following projects: (1) Rehabilitation of 37 water scheme at a cost of N1.3bilion; (2) Construction of 16 critical roads at a cost of N3.7billion; and (3) Cconstruction of Phase 1 of the Imo Wonder Lake Resort and Conference Centre, Oguta at a cost of N12.5billion.
“From preliminary findings, we have a strong lead that the proceeds of the bond were misappropriated as the Ohakim administration and the lead Issuing House (UBA Capital) never bothered to file the mandatory quarterly report on utilization of the bond proceeds to SEC. This prompted the capital market regulator to slam a fine of N1.2million on the state. The fine was paid by the Okorocha administration.
“The Ohakim Government in July 2007 had secured a loan of N10billion from UBA as a bridging facility prior to floating the bond but did not disclose this information to SEC. “From this money, N1.6billion was diverted and misappropriated through mundane expenditure such as the N201m paid for Christmas Rice in 2007, N50m for SSG as logistics for festival, N500m for purchase of Zenith Bank shares, N55m as DTA to Permanent Secretary Governor’s Office, N50m as professional fees to Nwoko
“Some of the water projects listed for execution with the Bond proceed had been funded and executed under the State’s Millennium Development Goals, MDG
“The Ohakim administration also allegedly withdrew N6.7billion from the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) Escrow Account without the approval of members of the Committee
“Above all, in March 2011, barely two months before his exit from Government House Owerri, Ohakim took another loan of N6billion from UBA Plc Mbari Branch Owerri and disbursed it within four weeks.
“Records available to the EFCC have shown that the disbursement was supervised by the ex- governor’s brother and Chief of Staff, Emmanuel Ohakim.
“Some of the suspects have made useful statements and volunteered document that will assist the ongoing investigation.
“Governor Okorocha, Ohakim’s successor, is equally being probed by the EFCC over allegation bordering on abuse of the Joint state and local government account.”