Sokom makes list despite allegations of fraud

The Imo State House of Assembly will today, screen the 17 commissioner nominees appointed by the state governor to replace the first set of commissioners who were sent packing almost six months ago.

A release issued by the Imo State House of Assembly, dated November 22, signed by the Clerk of the House,Barr Chinelo Emeghara requested the nominees to come along with 28 files containing their curriculum vitae, 3 years tax clearance and copies of their certificates.

The nominees include, “Prof. Duru Emmanuel Joseph Chukwuma, Dr. Prosper Ohayagha Success Obinna Chinonso, Prof. Ifunanya Okorodudu, Prof. C.O. Nwosu, Mr. Keziechi Ogaziechi, Barr. Rex Anunobi, Lady Love Ineh, Mrs. Rubby Emele, Simon Ebegbulem, Mr. Anukwuem Okechukwu Chukwunyere, Chief Ford Ozurumba, Hon. Stanley Obidieggwu, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nana Opia, Mrs. Ann Dozie, Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi (Chief Economic Adviser), Hauia Rabbi Ibrahim, Dr. Elias Emedom.

While some former commissioners made the list of new nominees, former Commissioner for Lands, Barr Enyinnaya Onuegbu, and Fabian Ihekweme, former commissioner for foreign investment, who was alleged to have constituted a shadow government during ex-governor Emeka Ihedioha’s administration among others, were dropped.

What most people who confided in this reporter consider shocking is the reappointment of Rex Anunobi who was alleged to have used his office for sharp practices that led to the arrest of his Personal Assistant, Frank and eight staff of Imo Civil Guards who were detained and later arraigned alongside Rex Anunobi in connection with irregularities they perpetrated at the instance of Anunobi as Commissioner for Transport.

It was also gathered that Anunobi’s name was surprisingly removed from the charge list and replaced with that of another person, hence he was let off the hook while those who carried out his instructions were detained for 17 days after arrangement in court.

The arraigned and later detained staff of Imo Civil Guards who narrated their ordeal to journalists said, “about 250 of us were picked from Imo Civil Guards by the former commissioner for Transport. Though, we were owed about 23 months’ salary before he drafted us into the Imo State Traffic Management Authority ISTMA without the consent of our commandant. He told us that we will be on probation for 2 months before receiving salary. Some of us were sent to the office of the Environmental Transportation Company, ENTRACO, some to ICAPS, etc. We were provided with receipts and ledgers which we issued to offenders who paid various amounts of money as fine.

“Those charged for driving on one way paid N25, 000, each while those apprehended for obstruction or wrong parking etc paid between N5000 and N 10,000 into designated bank accounts, while those who for one reason or the other could not pay into the bank accounts, paid us cash which we usually gave to the former commissioner’s aide and confidant Frank Uche who doubled as Head of Imo VIO, money that amounted to millions of naira”.

We did not recruit or post ourselves to the beats. Neither was the money collected paid into our private bank accounts, yet when the burble burst, we were arrested, alongside Frank while the commissioner who should be held responsible because we all acted on his instruction did not spend a night in detention. 

“He was arrested at about 7pm and released at about 11pm same day. As if that was not enough injustice, his name was struck out of the charge sheet and replaced with that of an innocent person who came there to seek employment” ,they lamented.