The former Executive Chairman of Orlu LGA, pioneer Chairman of Imo ALGON and ex-member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Chief Mayor Eze Chukwudi, who served as Special Adviser (SA) Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (BLGCA) under Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, has taken a strong exception to what he described as spurious allegation that the rebuild Imo administration fleeced the 27 LGAs of a total of N19.6 billion within its seven months in office.
The commissioner of Information,Hon Declan Emelumba had in a release issued recently in Owerri said that the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma is poised to recover #19.6 Billion allegedly stolen from Council funds by Ihedioha administration.He further sated that the government has approved the auditor general of Local government to commence probe of LGA accounts.
Mayor Chukwudi Eze who had warned Chairmen of the then Interim Management Committees of the 27 LGAs of Imo State against mismanagement of council funds, in his reaction stressed that it is unthinkable, unimaginable, impossible and outright falsehood that the sum of N19.6 billion was misappropriated from council funds under his watch.
He described the allegation as obvious lies adding that he still finds it extremely difficult to believe that any one including the Governor, Hope Uzodinma and his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba or any other person could condescend to such low to publish such report to discredit what he said was an eventful administration of Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha.
Eze sees the allegation as a comic relief away from the frustration accompanying the lockdown and sit at home order over the Covid-19 pandemic and hence not an issue to worry about.
His release reads in part, “my name is Mayor Eze, I was the Special Adviser to Governor Emeka Ihedioha on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the short but eventful administration. I have severally seen the above captioned releases making waves in the social media since this morning. I obviously decided to ignore them because it does not require a response due to the fact that the write up is filled with very obvious lies.
“I still find it difficult to believe that anyone in government will condescend to such a low to publish such. The fact that any one will openly state that an amount (#19. 63billion) that was over 60% of the entire LG allocation received under the Ihedioha administration was stolen, makes the whole thing a comic relief for this Covid-19 sit at home period.
However, reading a copy of the Sun Newspaper this morning, I came across same story on page 27. This time, it came with a heading, Imo approves probe of Ihedioha over N19. 63billion LG funds, without the flesh they gave to its online version.
“Wall House was paid N945m so far before we left and not N1.215 billion as claimed. He has also delivered seventeen pieces of the earth moving equipments to the present government of Imo State and they are parked within the Hero’s Square premises.
There was no such thing as unconscionable mandatory withdrawal of N2.405 billion. From who to who, where and when? There was nothing like payment of N9.378 billion to Local government councils for an undisclosed purpose. If such funds were paid into local government councils, that’s a bonus. But who paid that and from where?
Anyama and Co received N245m for no disclosed purpose. I do not know who is Anyama and Co and the Bureau did not pay that under my watch. Compulsory returns on kick backs from local government councils to the BLGCA to the tune of N2.404 billion. There is absolutely nothing like that.
Payment of N245m to Raphael Anyama and Co (Chartered Accountants) from rural roads without payment vouchers. I repeat, I do not know this individual or company and no such money were paid to him when I was in the Bureau as Special Adviser.
Payments made through the banks without Payment vouchers or evidence of expenditure to the tone of N3.332 billion. Like others above, this is a total fabrication and falsehood.
Curious phenomenon where N25 million was paid twice to the Principal Secretary to the Governor as Security vote. Once again, this is laughable, was the money paid cash or through an account? This is a senseless fabrication. I am yet to see the attached document for other details.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have never in life seen this level of intent to attack and malign others without a single shred of evidence”,he concluded.