White Label Int’l Account Used to Divert Imo’s N3.1billion?
By Kelechi Ugo
As the Contract Probe Panel set up by the former governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, and adopted by governor Hope Uzodinma, continues unabated to unravel the culprits behind the mismanagement of funds meant for contracts during the eight years of administration of governor Rochas Okorocha (2011-2019), a serving lawmaker, Kennedy Ibeh, representing Obowo State Constituency, has made a shocking revelation on how his company, White Label International was used to disburse over 3.1 billion naira allegedly for school building projects in the state.
Ibe, while narrating his company’s involvement in the contract episode to the panel of enquiry JUD/CICA/38M/2020, alleged that Chike Okafor, a Federal lawmaker at the House of Representatives, who was the commissioner for Finance, asked him to call a certain telephone number and supply his company’s name and account details. Thereafter, he said the first payment of N1.7 billion naira was made to the company from the source he called.
He further disclosed that he was then given a document containing names of contractors and account numbers where monies were to be paid into. He revealed that a total of N3.1 billion naira was paid into the said company account.
According to him, school projects in Ihitte/Uboma, Obowo and Ehime Mbano were under Chike Okafor; those in Ngor Okpala were under the former secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Eche, while the former deputy governor, Eze Madumere and Dr. Paschal Obi the then Principal Secretary to Okorocha handled Mbaitoli and Ideato LGAs respectively. However, whether the projects were executed or not in the mentioned local government areas, will be unraveled by the Contract Probe Panel. By then it will become clearer whether the White Label International Account was used to divert and retire over N3.1 billion naira belonging to Imo State between 2011 and 2019 or not.