…Let them prove it – IMC chairman
By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has been beckoned to set up a judiciary of enquiry to unravel the way and manner N800 million Owerri west local government funds were disbursed in Imo state.
A lawyer and member of Owerri west local government area, Interim Management Committee, IMC, Eze Eluchie, under Emeka Ihedioha, spoke yesterday in Owerri, adding that he was not comfortable the way council funds were withdrawn between seven to eight months.
According to Eluchie, he started writing to Ihedioha for an audience since August, pointing out that he did not get a response.
Vanguard captured Eluchie saying: “We did not even know how much was the wage bill, who are the contractors for the contracts they say they were doing and as a member of IMC, we were not privy to know when the funds of the council was appropriated. I keep warning them that it’s federal government funds in due time you have to account for them.
“I even wrote to Emeka Ihedioha, government, to let him know what was happening in the council even to other authoritaties but they did not yield any result.
“I wrote to FAAC, they told me that the least the Owerri west received is N125 million naira. I had planned to resign and lodge complain to EFCC, even before the supreme court judgement.
“What I am saying is that there is need to focus on the funds of local government council areas.
“Owerri West got over N800 million from June when we were sworn in that does not include the Internal Generated Revenue, IGR.
“Now, the IMC, has been whipped out now that a new government has come the fraud that happened at the council areas have been without challenge. We have to put them on the spot.
“I do away with Ihedioha’s government when it extended the tenure of IGR, it is illegal. It is an aberration. The federal government can stop releasing funds for local government without elected chairmen.”
Also Vanguard got Eluchie warning that “If the present government is serious to move forward, he should set up judiciary of enquiry to know what transpired within the local government funds under eight months.
“And we will watch and see what the government of the day is doing to manage the local government funds.
“Right from August, I have started writing to the government and governor, seeking for audience to elaborate on this fraud. Whether Ihedioha, had won or not I would have continued.”
Reacting, The Owerri west Chairman of the Interim Management Committee, Innocent Ekenma, said: “The government of Emeka Ihedioha is prudent. We can see the projects everywhere and I want you to tell Eluchie to prove it.”
Vanguard News Nigeria.
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