By: Chijindu Emeruwa
An Independent forensic auditing firm has trashed the report of a probe panel instituted by the PDP administration of Emeka Ihedioha. The Ihedioha panel had indicted the Okorocha adminstration for culpability in the alleged mismanagement of about 6 billion Naira belonging to the Commission. In a report obtained by our correspondent, the forensic auditors exposed mind boggling losses and suspicious looting of the oil funds to the eight months stay of Chief Emeka Ihedioha.
The Corporate Dev. & Assets Mgt Ltd (CADAM-ANE), an independent forensic auditing firm retained by the Imo State Government has published an interim forensic audit report on the financial transactions in the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) from 2007 to 2020.
The forensic audit report reveals that 12.3 Billion Naira accruing to the commission, especially, within the period between May 2019 and December 2019 could not be accounted for. The report also claimed that there are no projects to show for over 10 Billion Naira budgeted for projects execution especially from 2019 to 2020.
The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba confirmed the report and assured that the government will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to recover monies said to be missing or have been mismanaged by past administrators of the oil fund.
A breakdown of some findings of the audit report shows that out of a total sum of N3.5Bn of unexplained expenditure or online transfers of ISOPADEC funds to sundry PAYEES from its inception in 2007 to January 2020, 647M was spent between 2007 and May 2019, while the balance of almost N3B was spent between June 2019 and January 2020. Also, the audit found that while only 44 transactions under the sub head of unexplained expenditure and online transfers were carried out between 2007 and 2019, 88 of such transactions were dictated to have been carried out within the eight months of Chief Emeka Ihedioha.
While the report revealed that huge sums of money were paid to contractors by the without any guaranteed APG or certificates earned, as well as the absence of project history, tender records, or evidence of approvals from the board, the expenditure profile of the Commission witnessed an unprecedented high in the seven months of Chief Emeka Ihedioha than in any single year in 12 years.
Some commentators have observed that this report by the forensic auditors may have justified Okorocha’s argument that the several panels set up by the PDP administration are witch-hunt panels, who are more focused on scoring political points than investigating without bias, the activities of the Okorocha adminstration in eight years.