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Refund N106b, Imo Govt Panel on contract awards tells Okorocha

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The Imo State Government has asked the former Governor Rochas Okorocha-led government to refund a whopping sum of N106 billion to the State Govt coffers.

The call was made by the Imo State judicial commission of inquiry on award of contracts under the chairmanship of  Justice Benjamin Iheaka.

The panel, which was mandate by the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, beamed its searchlights on contracts awarded between 2011 and 2019.

After an extensive investigation, recommended that the former Okorocha government should refund the stated sum.

The panel reached the following resolutions:

  • N106 billion was siphoned by the Govt through non existent and bloated contracts.
  • There were monumental fraud orchestrated by the contractors in the period under review.
  • The frauds were perpetrated in collusion with some civil servants who helped in the fraud
  • There was evidence of over-pricing of the value of the executed contracts.

The panel also established that there were fragrant disregard for due process and the rules of Bureau for Public Procurement Act in the Imo State in awarding the said contracts.

It said the frauds were exhibited in “outrageous contract pricing and shady contract executions as well as payment for non performing contracts.”

Justice Iheaka also noted that there were evidences of non-existing and phoney companies that were used to siphon State Government funds.

He, therefore, appealed to Governor Uzodimma not to sweep their report and recommendations under the carpet.

The Chairman asked him to use the instrumentality of the law at his disposal to ensure that those indicted are made to refund the embezzled monies.

On his part, while receiving the report, the governor assured the panel that all those indicted will be brought to book and the the stolen funds will be recovered.

It could be recalled that a similar panel set up by the ousted governor, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, also found Okorocha culpable in stealing government funds to the tune of N28 billion Naira.

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