Imo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fallen short of calling the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, habitual liar, who has the penchant for peddling falsehood.
Writing under the caption, “alleged N330 million pension fraud; how Uzodinma lied”, Imo PDP in a release dated July 8, 2020, and signed by the Acting State Publicity Secretary, Ogubundu Nwadike, stated that the party is accustomed to “Uzodinma’s barrage of falsehood, propaganda, disinformation, and mischievousness”.
The party further noted that Uzodinma’s claims on the N330 million pension fraud are baseless, spurious, concocted, mischief prone and targeted at maligning and casting aspersion on the integrity of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha and the pension administration he instituted before his short-lived administration was booted out of office.
In an attempt to set the records straight and under pin the inherent and generally acknowledged frivolities in Governor Uzodinma’s vague allegations, Imo PDP averred thus; “When Uzodinma’s statement is juxtaposed with the evidence-based, verifiable and unassailable rebuttal by Sir Chime Aliliele, former executive chairman, Imo State Pensions Commission in the Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha headed rebuild Imo administration, our great party and indeed Imolites are left without any iota of doubt that Senator Uzodinma’s claims are a cocktail of lies, dishonesties and misrepresentations.
It is therefore incontrovertible that this is yet another false alarm deliberately fabricated by Uzodinma administration to defame the immediate past rebuild Imo administration of Ihedioha in order to score cheap political points.
The overt discrepancies in the numbers that Uzodinma himself made available to the public, arising from his inability to compute accurately, mere arithmetical figures further underscores the flawed nature of his allegations. The specific amounts claimed by Uzodinma that represent the yearly entitlements that each of the accused pensioners receive, do not add up to the N330m lump sum claim that the pensioners have been embezzling annually. For instance, accurate addition of the figures Uzodinma supplied that each of the eight pensioners received amounts to a total of N114.5 million, thus conflicting clearly and embarrassingly with his claim of N330m fraud.
Sir Aliliele’s reliable report that only four out of the eight persons Uzodinma listed were verified in the database of the Imo Pension Commission under Ihedioha, headed rebuild administration further underscores the fiction, falsehoods and logical contradictions in Uzodinma’s claims.
Contrary to Uzodinma’s allegation that the eight listed persons received annual pension of N330m, Aliliele disclosed in his verifiable, irrefutable and incontrovertible report that only N5,086,219.20 is paid to them on annual basis, leaving a curious gap of over N324m.
Governor Uzodinma deliberately misled the unsuspected Imolites and other members of the public by giving the erroneous and malicious impression that the Rebuild Imo Administration pension reform regime approved the following absurdities: Unlawful pension entitlements to retired Judges, resulting in some of them earning over a Million Naira in a month, payment of pension to late SSG, Osuigwe and to 1000 pensioners who retired in 1976 when Imo was founded. The truth as affirmed by Aliliele which can easily be cross-checked is that there wasn’t a single pensioner who retired in 1976 in the database of the Pension Commission during the Rebuild Imo Administration and late SSG, Osuigwe was never verified at that time as a pensioner. Besides, all the retired Judges monthly pension entitlements were below N1m.
The refutation on the social media of Uzodinma’s claims by Canice Obasi, one of the pensioners alleged by the government to be involved in the pension fraud speaks volumes of Uzodinma’s fallacies on the matter. Canice debunked government’s claims that he has been receiving annual pension of N3,360, 366.64, clarifying that what he has been getting annually is N1,524,399.64. Similarly, Damian Njoku, another pensioner, linked by Uzodinma with the pension fraud received monthly pension of N5,022.76 during the rebuild Imo administration as against the N5,042,439.58 annual payment he was falsely accused. Emenalo Theresa, who Uzodimma stated was getting N3,058,592.00 annually as pension, was not a verified pensioner in the state and as such must have been invented by Uzodinma, to score cheap political point.
It’s self-evident from these false claims that Senator Uzodimma deliberately and characteristically decided to deceive Imolites in order to delude them into believing that his insensitive and avaricious government means well for them.
It is on record that for the seven months that the PDP rebuild Imo administration was in office, the pension system was restored and made functional with Imo pensioners seamlessly and happily receiving five months pensions through the e-banking alerts services. Chief Aliliele captured it succinctly when he submitted that “everything about Pensions was straightened out by the Ihedioha administration, including initiating the process for Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), which was the main reason for setting up Imo State Pension Commission”.
Therefore, in the interest of Imolites and our teeming senior citizens who have been passing through excruciating times since Uzodinma took over as Governor given the government sustained failure to pay their entitlements, our advice to Uzodinma is to build and draw on the revolutionary revamp pension scheme instituted by Ihediioha, in so doing, offsetting the backlog of pension arrears instead of this resort to blackmail and wicked propaganda”.
Apart from the N330 million pension fraud alleged by Governor Hope Uzodinma, he had earlier claimed that his administration now saves N2 billion monthly on ghost workers pay, and N19.6 billion council funds looted by the Ihedioha cartel.