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EFCC Quizzes 3 Imo Officials Over Alleged Diversion Of N2bn Bailout Fund

*As Concerned Citizens Wants Thorough Investigation

Owerri, Imo State (AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have quizzed three officials of the Imo State government over their alleged involvement in the diversion of N2 billion bailout fund meant for the payment of civil servants salaries in the state.

The arrested officials are, Dr. Obi Paschal Chigozie, Principal Secretary to Governor Rochas Okorocha; Uzoho Casmir, Director of Finance and Iheoma Kenneth, Treasurer.

AFRICAN EXAMINER gathered from sources close to the state government  that their arrest followed an investigation into the alleged diversion of the said money which revealed that the cashier had made cash withdrawal of N456.532 million between September 3, 2015 and October 10, 2015 from the Government House account domiciled in Zenith Bank.

However, it was revealed that, the said amount was given to an aide of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, following approval and directive by the Principal Secretary to the Governor.

Investigations by our Correspondent revealed that the Okorocha’s  principal Secretary, who is seen as the Defacto  governor of the state, has been the one handling most key contracts in the state.

Some Imo concerned indigenes who spoke to AFRICAN EXAMINER under condition of anonymity in Owerri, the Imo state capital on the arrest Thursday, called on the anti graft agency to go beyond the bail out fund investigation in the state.

One of the respondent alleged that Dr. Obi, who is an Optometrician by profession, has acquired properties worth billions of naira across the state, Nigeria, and overseas.

According to him, “EFCC should probe how Dr. Pascal Obi acquired his numerous multi- billion naira properties, including hotels, in his community, Obioha, in Ideato South Council Area of Imo state, Owerri, Abuja, Lagos, Orlu, amongst other cities, less than four years he joined the Okorocha’s led government”

“The young man who  had nothing before his appointment into the Okorocha’s administration, can today boast of billions, if not trillions of naira, aside his numerous properties scattered all over the world”. Said another indigene of the area.

“The most annoying thing about his ill gotten- wealth is that he uses it to intimidate his people, especially grabbing their lands forcefully”

“So, I want call on EFCC and ICPC to take time to visit  Pascal Obi’s Obioha country home, and community, so as to see things for themselves”

However, a statement made available to newsmen, Thursday by the Spokesman for EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the three men would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation into the scam was completed.

The said money was given to the state by the president Buhari led federal government as a loan to settle outstanding salaries of workers, who had threatened to embark on industrial action.


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