With each passing day the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma has continued to reinforce its resolve to probe the government of Gov Emeka Ihedioha.
The latest action came from the Vice Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi (aka Dele) who stated that no court can stop the legislature from doing its oversight functions.
Onyemaechi made this disclosure in an interaction with media men in the state capital. He also dispelled the speculations and rumours that Gov Uzodinma set up the Committee to witch hunt his predecessors.
Public office holders from the administration of Senator Rochas Okorocha up to the time of Ihedioha will come under the scrutiny adding that anybody fingered in the loot of public funds will have his day in the investigations.
The Owerri West representative admitted knowledge of Ihedioha’s suit reminding that those to come under probe include the former Accountant General of the State, the 27 Local Government’s DAG’s and Treasurer’s, some ministries, etc. He added that cheques were issued in advance by the Ihedioha’s government.
In his words, ‘no law court will be able to stop embers of the State House of Assembly from probing former governors and other government officials. It is not only Ihedioha that we shall also invite Sen.Rochas to come and explain the statement of accounts. The PAC is duly empowered and enabled by law”.
However, the aides to Governor Emeka Ihedioha has disclosed that the former governor is not opposed to probe but only insisting that due process should be followed, adding that the former number six person has nothing to fear.
Meanwhile, the Owerri High Court on Monday 11thApril, 2020 rejected the bid by Ihedioha to restrain the Imo State House of Assembly from probing an alleged mismanagement of N19.63 billion meant for the local government councils during his brief stay as the governor
In his ruling Justice S.I Opara held that rather than grant the ex-parte order restraining the House from inviting or probing Ihedioha, the case would be set for hearing. He thus, ruled that all parties must file vital documents for hearing. The House of Assembly, the Speaker, and the Clerk are defendants.
Recall that weeks ago the state Auditor-General for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had issued an interim audit report exposing how N19.63 billion fraudulently vanished from the local government accounts between May and December, 2019.
Thus, the state government had on April 14th approved a request by the Auditor-General for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs to recover N19.63 billion allegedly embezzled by the Ihedioha administration.
Seemingly, worried that the House of Assembly may probe the allegation, the erstwhile governor petitioned for a perpetual injunction impeding it from investigating him.
The funds were taken from the Imo State Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC) through the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (BLGCA).Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emehumba in a statement discosed that the sum was discovered during a routine audit of the accounts and records of JAAC for the fiscal year ended December 31,2019.
According to Emelumba the funds were illegally withdrawn from JAAC account without any Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU),Stores Receipt Voucher(SRV) or Stores Issue Vouchers (SIV). However, Ihedioha and those mentioned in the report had rebuffed the allegations.