A pro-democracy group in the state, Imo Transparency in Governance Initiative(ITGI) has given the state government three weeks to recover the total sum of forty million naira (N40m) belonging to the the Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, from the retired former Rector of the institution allegedly misappropriated by the report of the committee on the MSME loan to Cooperative societies of the school.
The group while addressing a press briefing in Owerri on Tuesday February 9, also requested the government to investigate the veracity or otherwise of the allegation that the retired Rector Fr. Wence Madu who retired from service since September 2020 has still been receiving monthly salaries and threatened to take up the matter with the anti-graft agency – Economic and Financial Crime Commission
(EFCC) if the state government is not able to deal with the suspected shoddy deal.
Addressing the media yesterday in Owerri the leader of the group Comrade Emeka Osunkwo disclosed that the committee after investigation and observation made the following recommendations.
That the Committee recommends that the former Rector Rev. Fr. Dr. Wence Madu (former Board Chairman) and the Managing Director of Imopoly Microfinance Bank Mr. Polycarp Nsoha should be held responsible for such misappropriation and fraudulent practices surrounding the 40 million MSME loan. And that the Managing Director Mr. Polycarp Nsoha abused his position with respect to the various transactions, therefore violated his professional ethics. Disciplinary actions should be taken against him without delay.
Apart from other staff who were intimidated by the Managing Director, the Internal Auditor who could not observe all these anomalies should also be disciplined accordingly.
They recommended with respect to the N500,000 in favour of Chief Ambrose Uchegbu, the then Rector/ Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, the Managing Director of the bank, the signatories to the account (Obiloma Appolonia and Ogbonna Patrick) are accomplices, therefore appropriate disciplinary actions should be taken against them.
The salaries of the under mentioned who are also staff of the polytechnic should be charged to recover the amount and sums against their names.
Obilma Apolonia N960.000
Ogbonna Patrick N150,000
Mathew Ugwu N200,000
Onyekweredike Chibuike N600,000
Ogbuehi Anthony N100,000
Francis Nnorom N2,400,000
Evelyn Chukwuma N1,000,000
With respect to various sums allocated to several names used by the former Rector Fr. Madu and the Managing Director to collect the sum of N 31M, they should be made to refund the sums through their salaries.
That the total sum of N 6M already deducted from Imopoly account 30 should be refunded by the bank with immediate effect.
The staff whose names were used mischievously should be communicated accordingly to that effect.
(10) Anti graft agencies should be involved for further investigation and recovery of the said N40 million.
The committee observed that the MSME loan was enveloped with misappropriation and some other fraudulent activities by the former Rector /Chairman of the Board and the MD. Disciplinary actions should be taken against them without delay.
Earlier in the course of their thorough investigations the committee had made the following observations, that eight (8) co-operative societies with various names were formed and accounts opened with the Imo Poly micro finance bank Ltd.
That a list of names were submitted as authorizing each of the co-operative societies .
That none of the account opening forms was properly and duly processed and most of the transferred cheques and payments made were not properly authorized and correctly processed and the handwriting used in writing all the transferred cheques were almost the same and different from the writing of the signatories. They observed that these loans were given in February 2017 and no plans to recover them until march 2019, 2years after.
The committee also observed from the letter by the ministry of commerce Owerri, Imo State dated 22nd Feb. 2017 that the names of the executives of the Co-operatives are different from the bank authorizing signatories. The sum of N6m has been deducted from the polytechnic account with the Micro Finance Bank for repayment of the loan as was directed by the former rector Rev. Fr. Dr. Wence Madu.
They also noted that an Imooly Micro Finance Bank cheque of N500.000 was drawn in favour of Chief Ambrose Unegbu duly authorizied by the signatories Obiloma Applonia and Ogbonaa Patrick for repayment and signatories also signed the cheque. They also collected the said sum of N500,000.