All is not yet settled for embattled former Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha. Fresh from his win at the courts, which ordered INEC to release the since withheld election certificate to the newly elected Senator, it appears Okorcha is in even deeper waters.
1. List of assets made disappeared by Rochas Okorocha
Imo state’s Government assets recovery body is currently pursuing a case of the alleged withholding of some 67 government vehicles by the former governor and his immediate family. The Chairman of the task force in charge, Jasper Ndubuaku has alleged that apart from the 67 vehicles that the former Governor seized the Governor’s ADC also absconded with 5 cars. His driver is also reported to have withheld a Jeep of the Toyota Prado brand.
The allegations were made yesterday when the Task Force addressed the press on the matter. The chairman expressed shock that Imo state had lost an assorted collection of items to the past administration in excess of ₦50 billon. Items lost include utensils for the kitchen, generators, televisions, chairs, cutleries, beds and beddings, and others.
The items were taken from various government facilities including parastatals, State house, ministers, and agencies.
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Former Governor Okorocha has denied all the allegations
While speaking to the press, Ndubuaku further elaborated on the case. He claimed that apart from Okorocha’s gargantuan looting, all elected officials including the LGA Chairmen, numbering 27, state commissioners (30 of them), as wel as the governor’s special advisers all made their exits holding onto the assets of Imo state government.
Amongst items personally attributed to Okorocha’s graft were all vehicles still in working order in the state house. They include bullet proof vehicles, convoy cars, and motorbikes for outriders. The former’s governor’s wife, Mrs Okorocha also was alleged to have taken one bullet proofed car. Also unaccounted for are payloaders, numbering 27, designed for construction, and graders (also 27 in number) that had been purchased before Okorocha’s tenure by the Ikedi Ohakim administration.
The Chairman of the taskforce further described a shocking situation where a sister to the former Governor was awarded a government contract to furnish government offices at half a million Naira each, only for those same offices to be now totally empty.
“The looting spree was unprecedented. It was as if government never existed as all paraphernalia of government were carted away. Even the 150 transformers bought by Okorocha for electioneering stunt all disappeared in thin air.
Some of them told us that the cars were accidented somewhere in Abuja and Jos and we have told them to take us there.”
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2. Okorocha's rebuttal to the allegations
In a quick rebuttal however, the former governor described he accusations as “diversionary” and an attempt by the newly installed administration of Emeka Ihedioha to mask its shortcomings and its lack of capacity to lead the state. Mr Okorocha spoke through the former gov’s special adviser in media, who is Sam Onwuemeodo.
Sam Onwuemeodo challenged the new administration to provide a full list of the alleged looted items, as the former governor would then be able to proffer a proper and formal response.
Amongst other things, Onwuemeodo remarked:
“They have remained riotous in their approach on every issue. They have not begun to run a government because they came to power through the back door. They are only busy blackmailing the former governor. We have challenged them to publish whatever they are looking for so that we can respond as responsible people. All the key appointees of the staggering government are all saying different things on one issue. The government can’t fly,”
This Lexus Jeep was Rocas Okorocha's official car and could be one of the cars allegedly missing
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Meanwhile, the Task Force Chairman informed the press that the taskforce had itemized all the missing properties and had also pinpointed those responsible for their disappearance. He described the briefing as a last warning to the looters, enjoining them to return the looted assets peaceably before the government took action. He also alluded to the possibility of criminal prosecution for any former government appointee found culpable.
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