Convinced that he would not be re-elected in the 2015 Governorship election, Governor Rochas Anayo Ethelbert Okorocha decided to embark on the last minute looting of
State funds, especially local government funds, by ensuring that he mortgaged the 27 LGAs of the State to ZENITH BANK PLC.
To achieve this evil plot, Okorocha through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs headed then by his cousin, Dr. (Mrs) Adaobi Obasi (who is now the Vice Chancellor of Imo State University) directed all the 27 TC Chairmen and their Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS) to submit their Local Government’s letter-headed paper. This directive was carried out, and promptly Okorocha, his Principal Secretary (Dr. Paschal Obi), Dr. (Mrs) Adaobi Obasi and indeed the Ministry of local Government reportedly forged a so called “resolution” of Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) requesting for a loan of N926 million for each of the 27 local government areas of the state totaling N25,002,000,000 = (Twenty five Billion and two million naira only) from ZENITH BANK PLC..
The Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) is the highest decision making body of the Local Government Areas. Thereafter, the Governor through his cohorts and the Ministry of Local Government allegedly forced the 27 TC Chairmen and the DAGS to sign the forged document which scored as basis for Zenith Bank to grant the aforementioned loan of N25,002,000,000 billion naira. This fraud took place in December 2014.
Consequently, the loan was granted and Governor Okorocha reportedly settled the TC Chairmen by paying into their private accounts funds ranging from N55 million to N90 million depending on his closeness to each of the T.C Chairmen. The T.C. Chairmen to justify the fraud “embarked” on re-roofing of council Headquarters with part of the money paid into their private accounts. They spent only N15 million and pocketed the balance.
It should be noted that the so-called loan from Zenith Bank never passed through the Local Government account. It was never approved by the Imo State House of Assembly. However, when the loan materialized, and the Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu led Assembly got wind of the fraud, Governor Okorocha reportedly gave each Honourable member the sum of N30 million naira. Although Uwajumogu got his own share of N30 million, Okorocha allegedly invited the then Speaker privately and gave him N70 million extra and reportedly told him, “We are into this game together”
The remaining bulk of the loan from Zenith Bank was allegedly shared between Okorocha, his Commissioner for Local Government (Dr. (Mrs.) Adaobi Obasi), his Principal Secretary (Dr Paschal Obi), his wife (Nkechi) and his kitchen cabinet.
But when President Buhari eventually won the March 28th 2015 Presidential election, Okorocha through political “orogrophy” arranged his own victory. Having been sworn-in for his second tenure, he is now finding it difficult to pay Civil Servants in Imo State because State and Local Government allocations had been mortgaged to Zenith Bank and other banks, who on monthly basis are deducting the various loans granted Okorocha led government which he in-turn converted to personal use. Let me put it on record that Okorocha collected loans from banks on behalf of the state and local government and thereafter converted same to personal use. The bailout fund will never be used to pay civil servants. The banks are reportedly holding it for obvious reasons.
It should be noted that the present or latest N25,002,000,000 billion fraud got exposed because Okorocha and his cohorts used the DAGS and the then TC Chairmen to sign the forged document (that is, the F& GPC resolution), settled only the TC Chairmen and left the DAGS in the cold, who felt used and dumped. They expected that Okorocha would give them N26 million each, having participated in the fraud. Since none came to them, they opened up on this scam. As far as I am concerned, crime is crime. All the people involved in this fraud must be dealt with, (DAGS inclusive).
But as a government of iniquity, fraudsters and liars, Governor Okorocha’s administration has denied ever taking any N25 billion loans from Zenith Bank in December 2014. Okorocha’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo has denied that government took loan from Zenith bank few months ago. He made the disclosure in a text message. Nevertheless, let me say it loud and clear that Okorocha obtained a N25 billion naira loan from ZENITH BANK PLC in December 2014 through questionable circumstance. The said loan did not pass through the local government Account, neither was it approved by the Imo State House of Assembly. This loan was diverted and shared by Okorocha and his cohorts. At least, some of those who signed the forged documents have opened up. Can Zenith bank deny a loan it gave to the Imo State Government through a forged resolution of Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC)? Let EFCC, ICPC, Force headquarters and the Presidency invite Zenith Bank Officials, DAGS, Dr. (Mrs.) Adaobi Obasi, DR. Paschal Obi, Immediate Past Honourable members, for “Forensic” questioning and let their findings be made public. Especially, the EFCC should prove now that it is serious to fight fraud and corruption in high places. Honourable Celestine Ngobiwu, the then House Committee Chairman on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters should be thoroughly questioned. There are clear evidences.
In the part 2, part 3 and part 4 of this exposure, I will give further insight of Local Government fraud involving Governor Rochas Okorocha, TC Chairmen, the two immediate past Commissioners for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (Chief Gerry Okolie and Dr (Mrs) Adaobi Obasi), Ex-Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu and their criminal gangs.
The reading public should therefore go back to my two published articles entitled (1) NIGERIAN WORKERS AT THE MERCY OF STATE GOVERNORS (2) STATE GOVERNORS WHO CONVERT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY TO PERSONAL USE, to understand the damage Governor Okorocha has inflicted on the people of Imo State.
It is on record that on the 18th of February 2014, I petitioned the EFCC, giving clear details of how the then Speaker Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu (his chief of staff, Mr. Kodichi Anamekwe, Emeka Ahaneku and his other Aides looted state funds running into billions of naira. In a bid to silence me, Uwajumogu and Governor Okorocha connived with the rubber stamp Imo State Police Command and accused me and my wife of murder, after they had failed to assassinate me on the 3rd of June 2014.
To the glory of Almighty God, I survived all their evil plots after spending 328 days in illegal detention. Today, the Inspector General of Police is with my petition on Political Killings and Kidnappings in Imo State dated 26th JUNE 2015, involving Governor Okorocha, Uwajumogu and their cohorts.
To the people of Imo State, I say it is time to take the bull by the horn; Imo Youths should rise up now for we have a thief in our midst as governor.
Yes, it is true.
Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha
Former Senior Special Assistant on Media
Immediate Past Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties
Imo State House of Assembly; 07032934037
[Image: The author]