A group known as Imo Concerned Citizens (ICC) yesterday raised alarm over what they tagged conspiracy by the Auditor General of Local government areas in Imo State,Barr Osita Nwosu to cover all the atrocities he jointly committed with Ex-governor Rochas Okorocha during their eight (8) years maladministration and locust eating period.
Speaking with Newsmen in Owerri, the National Coordnator of the group, Mr Stephen Nnadi described Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s probe as a smoke screen, wondering how the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma abandoned all the petitions against Okorocha before him by the group only to start fighting Ihedioha.
The group also claimed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has not done much regarding their own petitions it has in its kitty on Okorocha and the Auditor General who they said assisted Okorocha to misappropriate over N150Billion Local government fund for the 8 years they were in office.
ICC maintained that they have it on good authority that the Auditor General of LGAs, Mr Nwosu is presently taking instruction from Okorocha to perfect all the financial fraud during their eight (8) year tenure and issue him a clean bill of health while devoting time to probe the mere (7) months short-lived tenure of Emaka Ihedioha. According to ICC, they also have it on good authority that Uzodinma may not be aware that Nwosu is doing a hatchet job for Okorocha while claiming that he is dealing with Emeka Ihedioha.
Nnadi stated that as pro-democracy group, they are in support of the resort to probe all former governors, including Ihedioha but insisted it should be done transparently and advised the Uzodinma’s administration to engage unbiased persons to conduct the probe. They noted that any probe that is done without investigating how ex-governor Okorocha squandered council fund for eight years is sectional and should be viewed as highly partisan, clannish, vindictive and vendetta driven.
They recalled that Nwosu before this time had his tenure as civil servant expired but Okorocha realizing how good he was in perfecting dubious documents for him, arbitrarily extended his tenure. They further called on Uzodinma to sack Nwosu and demand that he refunds every salary earned by him since he was due for retirement but surreptitiously reinstated by Uzodinma.
They also recalled that, “the same Auditor General for Local Government, Barr Osita Nwosu, who before his appointment had served as Treasurer in several local government areas had been a source of protests and now within the state civil service alleged to have over-stayed his tenure in service and was due for retirement elongated by three years which expired on April 30, 2020.
A purported letter from the Civil Service Commission, signed by the then Permanent Secretary, Mr Iheaka was alleged to have been approved by the then Governor Okorocha, indicated that Mr Osita Nwosu would retire by age and not years of service, a nefarious condition that created doubts and credibility issues in the commission and office of the then governor. The civil service rules provides that a staff should retire after 30 years of service or reaching the age of 69 or whichever comes first.
“Nwosu had several months running battles with his colleagues in the finance department of the service some of which ended on the floor of the 8th House of Assembly including suspension and counter suspension. He is alleged to be doing everything possible to remain in the good books of Governor Hope Uzodinma with an expectation of further elongation of his service long after serving for 30 years.
Available records showed that Barr Osita Nwosu born on June 7, 1960, was engaged into the service of Imo State on March 20, 1979, at the age of 19. With date of present appointment recorded as at 20th January 1981, he should have retired since 2014.
It was a long drawn battle between the Auditor General of LGAs and the other top civil servants who contended that his elongation was a distortion of civil service rules and quoted a letter from the Public Complaint Commission and relevant sections of the constitution of the nation on the matter.
After all said and done, the officer was allowed to stay by Okorocha for reasons not far-fetched as Barrister Nwosu hails from same Ideato Nation with then Governor Okorocha. He was equally accused of perfecting and manipulating the administration and finances of the local government areas of the state.
Angered by the publicity of the story of undue elongation in the media, Mr Nwosu accused some of his colleagues of leaking information to the press with threats of fire and brimstone and vowing to seek vengeance on his alleged suspects. He has since then been seeking vendetta on them at any given opportunity.
Recently he forwarded an Interim Audit dated 24th March 2020 to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Imo State House of Assembly captioned “Interim Audit Inspection Report of Imo State Joint Allocation Committee (JAAC) for period of 1st January to 31st December 2019, for necessary action of the House aimed at rubbishing the activities of the enstranged former colleagues who have in turn forwarded a protest to the same House”, the group fumed.
The questions on the lips of many civil servants and the public are, who is the authentic Auditor General of Imo Local Government System, as the mission of Barr Osita Nwosu is to cover the mis-deeds of his kinsman, Owelle Rochas Okorocha by putting Emeka Ihedioha at the receiving end while his greatest benefactor Okorocha rides roughshod.