Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo State, has asked Governor Hope Uzodinma to wake up and concentrate on his job of providing good governance to the people.
Okorocha’s statement was in response to the allegation linking him to a N106 billion contract scam purportedly awarded during his time as a governor of the state.
Recall a state Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Contracts awarded by past governments and headed by Justice Benjamin Iheaka, had, in its report submitted to Governor Uzodimma, made the allegation against ex-Imo governor’s administration.
Reacting through Sam Onwuemeodo, his media aide, in a statement on Tuesday, Okorocha said, “The media had come up with stories, with the referenced caption, following the report of Justice Benjamin Iheaka’s panel of inquiry on contracts from 2011 to 2019. That was the period, Senator Rochas Okorocha had governed the State. And our initial reaction goes this way;
“We challenge the government in Imo, led by Senator Hope Uzodinma to publish the Iheaka report verbatim, so that Imo people in particular and Nigerians in general, could read the report and see how the panel arrived at N106 billion, which they said that Senator Okorocha should refund.
“No serious panel would have made such recommendation. It could only take a “Ben Johnson” panel to do that. And let the government publish the list of contractors who handled contracts under Okorocha, State the contracts they did, how much they were paid respectively, how they were paid and what they should have been paid, in the estimation of the Panel members.
“We are also demanding for the publication of the report because we do not believe that the chairman of the panel, a judge, could go ahead to submit report on a matter that is pending at a Federal High Court in which the presiding judge had ordered for the maintenance of the status quo. Okorocha had gone to court to complain that several Panels cannot be probing him on the same issues, the EFCC is probing him too, following petitions from the same government.
“For almost nine months on Seat, the government in Imo has been struggling for acceptance. In his Independence Day speech the governor said that he inherited systematic fraudulent system from Ihedioha. Two days after he said that Okorocha should refund N106 billion. Some days ago, it was that Okorocha’s appointees joined Uzodinma. After that, the story became that Okorocha’s kinsmen have joined Uzodinma. Or, Mr. A or B has joined APC.
“Again, Governor Uzodinma should please wake-up. Your Excellency, wake- uuuup. Time does not wait for anybody especially in governance. You cannot tell Imo people that your achievements at the end of the day is pursuing Okorocha to satisfy those behind you. This is the first government in the history of the state to take off with non-payment of salaries and having issues with every sector in the state. The governor should face governance and leave controversies because they do not add up.”