The Imo State judicial commission of inquiry on award of contracts between 2011 and 2019 have recommended that the former Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha should refund N106B to the State Government which it said was siphoned by the Government through nonexistent contracts.
Submitting its report to Governor Hope Uzodimma at the Executive Chambers, Government House Owerri on Monday, the Chairman, Justice Benjamin Iheaka explained that “there were monumental fraud that were orchestrated by the contractors in the period under review with strong collusion with some civil servants who helped in the fraud which was evidenced in over-pricing of the value of the contracts executed in the State.”
The report said that there were fragrant disregard for due process and the rules of Bureau for Public Procurement Act in the Imo State which was exhibited in “outrageous contract pricing and shady contract executions as well as payment for non performing contracts.”
Justice Iheaka also said there were evidences of non-existing and phoney companies that were used to siphon State Government funds to the tone of N106billion.
The Chairman therefore appealed to the Governor not to sweep their report and recommendations under the carpet, but to do whatever is in his power to ensure that those indicted are made to return the monies.
Receiving the report Governor Uzodimma assured that all those indicted will be brought to book.
The Governor assured that in a few days Government will set-up a Review Committee that will look at the documents submitted by the Commission and produce a Whitepaper that will give Government the actual direction to follow in implementing the report in full.
He said the mood in the state indicates that the people are anxious to know what government will do with the report and others before it.
He therefore assured the Chairman and his members that much as Government will not witch-hunt anyone unnecessarily, it will definitely not shy away from implementing to the letter, the recommendations on those who willfully fleeced the state of her scarce resources to serve as a deterrent to future criminals.
He commended the members for taking time to do a thorough job considering the intricacies of their assignment which warranted their visiting project sites and asking difficult questions and said Government will surely show appreciation for their sacrifices.