–      Mum on eye-popping filling station, stupendous wealth

Sequel to some publications which featured in the Community Watchdog Newspapers, highlighting the activities of the Permanent Secretary of the Imo State Ministry of Works, Engr C.E Egbuka, alleged to have used his office like most public servants to amass stupendous wealth, his first reaction rather than refute the allegations and addressed the matter, was to hire a lawyer. 

The technocrat who was recently reported to have attempted to smear the character and cast aspersion on the Managing Director of a popular Hotel in Owerri over a failed contract deal has expressed disaffection with and reacted angrily to the reports.

Writing through his lawyer, Chief S.C Nwachi and Associates of 100A/182 Orlu Road Amakohia, Owerri West LGA, Engr C.E Egbuka, accused the newspaper of throwing caution to the wind when it stated in it’s Edition of May 12, 2020, that “when he was Director of Works in the Imo State Ministry of Works, has approached the management of the hotel for a contract deal, to tar the access road leading to the hotel, based on certain amount of money but the management turned him down”.

Egbuka also took special exception to and notice of the paragraph that stated inter-alia, “Egbuka who was Director of Works all through ex-governor Rochas Okorocha’s eight (8) years in office that was characterized as era of “china roads”, came up with outrageous demands in form of bribe, but could not succeed”.

Worst still, Engr Egbuka, as the current Acting Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Works contends that the statement, “when he was elevated as Permanent Secretary of the same ministry of works, he initiated threats and harassment on the management of the hotel, on the same issue bothering on the use of same access road, he demanded huge sum of money as bribe”, has as a consequence damaged his integrity, reputation and ridiculed him in the eye of the public, as well as being unworthy of the exalted position he presently occupies in the state public service. While handing down the management of Community Watchdog Newspaper a five (5) day ultimatum through his lawyers to retract what he considers as “libelous and offensive publication concerning him”, he equally wants an apology from the publisher, if only to ameliorate the pains, anguish, psychological trauma, shame and disgrace that the publications have caused him. 

As if that was not enough and capable to assuage his frayed nerves and sooth his jaded feelings, the former Director of Works, Imo State Ministry of Works “under Okorocha’s well known and generally acknowledged regime of china roads”, Engr C.E Egbuka, through his lawyers is determined to proceed in due process of law to attempt to redeem what he said is a battered image, odium, opprobrium, reputation and integrity.

In doing so however, Egnr C.E Egbuka as the Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry failed woefully to address the issue of his alleged appropriation of stupendous wealth. He was curiously silent on a number of crucial issues raised in the publications. For instance, Engr C.E Egbuka did not address the issue of ownership of the ultra modern eye-popping Total Filling Station along Port Harcourt road Owerri, suspected to have been acquired by him while serving under Okorocha as Director of Works. 

There is also the allegation that Egbuka owns a sprawling hotel complex in Owerri, in addition to other investments just like most civil servants who are in the habit of compromising their integrity and conscience in order to call the buff of corrupt politicians masquerading as Governors.

It is only in Owerri the Imo State capital and of course the headquarters of the 27 LGAs in Imo state that cases of fraud, embezzlement of public funds, money laundering and treasury looting are aided and abetted by public servants, who ordinarily should resist such.

Interestingly, the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma has resolved to stem the tide by descending heavily on council treasurers and Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS), who were recently accused of aiding politicians in treasury looting while helping themselves with the introduction or inclusion of ghost workers in the pay cheque.

According to the Imo State Governor, there are Serving civil servants who do not only earn monthly salaries but also collect pension at the end of every month even while still in active service.