· Money diverted through Bureau de change-Governor
· Vindicates Watchdog newspaper again
The issue of the missing N26.8billion bailout fund that was given to Imo state by the federal government for the payment of the arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities of Imo workers, for which the former Chief of staff and son-in-law of the former governor Chief Uche Nwosu and Watchdog newspaper were in court for over five years following the latter’s report that a huge Chunk of the money which was in Uche Nwosu’s custody was siphoned by his Togolese domestic aide who absconded with the money ”.
The former governor’s Son-in-law had on the basis of the report, dragged Watchdog newspaper to court for criminal defamation and also instituted another case of defamation in Court.
However, an Owerri magistrate court has since July 2019 discharged the media house and the Publisher.
It Would be recalled that controversial Bailout fund matter which lingered for years attracted public attention, as it led to three separate litigation between the government who, arbitrarily arrested and detained the publisher as well as ransacked the newspaper’s office.
Recently , the case of the bailout fund re-echoed when the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners visited the governor of Imo state over the lingering and recurring nonpayment of pensions and gratuity of retired Imo workers when it was revealed that the alleged bailout fund of the state was diverted through “Bureau De Change” and the present administration has vowed to recover all missing money and pay all the pensioners.
The pensioners were in Owerri where governor addressed them, saying “In recognition and appreciation of the reforms we brought in handling Pensioners affairs which includes but not limited to the automation of pension payments, the National Union of Pensioners today paid a visit to show solidarity and support to our administration as we reposition the state.”
“We acknowledge our fallibility as humans but would continue unabated to resolve every outstanding case and this includes recovery of the bailout funds meant for Pensioners but misappropriated. Legal proceedings have been put in motion to this effect and we would see to it that stolen funds and assets are fully recovered.”
The governor who was excited that for the first time Nigeria Union of Pensioner has a president of South East extraction commended the body for living up to their bidding of ensuring that their laid down rules were followed which resulted in the emergence of a president of South East extraction.
The national executive of N.U.P led by its chairman Chief Godwin Ikeechukwu Abumki said that they were in the state in recognition and appreciation of reforms that were brought in handling pensioners affairs.
Some of the pensioners and concerned members of the public who spoke to over reporter were full of commendation of the Watchdog group of newspapers for being to unravel the missing bailout fund meant to of set the pensioners arrears and the persistence of the media house in pursuing the cause of Imo pensioners and the missing fund.
This development has further vindicated the Watchdog Newspaper’s report and portrayed Uche Nwosu as merely using government’s instrument available to his father-inlaw to suppress the press, through litigation and intimidation.