Immediate past governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha has been indicted by a panel set up by Governor Emeka Ihedioha for diverting the sum of N6 billion which was meant for the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
Daily Sun reports that Romanus Ezeogu, who chaired the panel, submitted the report to Governor Ihedioha on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.
According to the panel chairman, the former governor should explain what happened to the original 40% monthly derivation fund allocated to ISOPADEC which could not be accounted for.
“Governor Okorocha should be held responsible for the missing funds. The law establishing ISOPADEC provides its funding from the 13% derivation from the federation account,” he added.
The panel also claimed that the former governor, now a senator, took N422 million from ISOPADEC’s fund for the purchase pre-inauguration vehicles from a car shop and also diverted N200 million to purchase transformers during the 2019 campaigns.
The panel questioned the claim by Okorocha that he reportedly spent N400 million on the abandoned Marine University at Osemoto in Oguta.
Also, the panel said it found N1 billion lodged in the Obinze branch of a bank (name withheld) which was withdrawn without details or description of any kind.
A further breakdown of the panel report showed that Pascal Obi, former principal secretary to Okorocha, got N35 million from ISOPADEC’s funds and recommended that he should be summoned to explain what happened to the money.
The governor appreciated the panel and promised to study the report. He said this was not a witch-hunt, but that justice would prevail.
Reacting, Okorocha said Ihedioha’s administration is vindictive and deceitful. He expressed the belief that nothing good would come out of the investigation.
Sam Onwuemeodo, spokesperson for Okorocha, quoted the former governor as saying Ihedioha has no programme for the people and that is why he is foot-dragging and chasing shadows. He also mentioned some achievements by Okorocha through ISOPADEC.