The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, has debunked the allegations that his office is enmeshed in Job racketeering and scandals orchestrated by him.
Speaking with journalists in Owerri, recently, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, stated that he is too busy and disciplined to be involved in job racketeering and urged journalists to cross check their facts before going to press.
However, an insider source revealed that the speaker was truly unaware of those letters written to some public establishments in Imo, requesting the authorities to employ their candidates even at a time the government was yet to lift embargo on employment. He stated that the Chief of Staff, Barr Mike Ihaka, must have authorized the letters without the express knowledge of the speaker who our source said, can’t encourage such acts that defy due process.
When contacted, the Chief of Staff to the speaker, Ihaka said, “as a matter of facts, you have been publishing things against me without any proof. You claimed, I allegedly coerced institutions to employ people after collecting money from them. I know you do not have any person living or dead who has ever told you or any other person that I collected money from him or her for any employment.
I know also that you do not have any letter written by me or on my behalf for any such purpose to any institution. Some of you who care about facts and professionalism have called on me for facts after which they saw reasons that the allegation lacks substance. For the records, there was no such thing”.
Meanwhile, a reliable source who didn’t want his name in print has it that Imo State Polytechnics alone got 20 names. According to him, the letter addressed to the Rector of Imo State polytechnic, Umuagwo, also bears the letterhead of the Imo State House of Assembly and authored by the Chief of Staff, who signed for the Speaker.
“In the same vein, another letter was addressed to Imo State University which also has over 30 names”, the source revealed.
It was gathered that apart from these institutions, similar letters were sent to other government offices, agencies and parastatals thus giving credence that it was authorized and anchored by Barr. Ohaka.
It would be recalled that Watchdog Newspaper had in one of her editions alleged that the office of the speaker was enmeshed in job racketeering, following reports that letters from the speaker’s office were sighted at different offices, requesting for mandatory job opportunities for a select list of young graduates, from Isiala Mbano home of Speaker and other places.
However, a lawmaker in the Imo State House of Assembly(namewitheld) acknowledged that Speaker’s Aides may have done so but the issue was blown out of proportion, giving credence that it may have been sponsored to tarnish the Speaker’s reputation and incite his colleagues to impeach him before the judgment of the governorship election petitions tribunal.