Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha has continued to paint a gory picture of the running of the state under the immediate past government of Rochas Okorocha.
The latest story from Okorocha’s successor is how the former governor allegedly operated 250 bank accounts in negation to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy operated under President Muhammadu Buhari government.
Ihedioha, who made this claim when he met online reporters in Owerri, the state capital on Thursday, explained that of the 250 accounts, 150 were domiciled in Zenith Bank alone, while the other 100 were scattered across other banks.
He also regretted that the state during Okorocha’s eight-year tenure, lost 150 cases in court, a development he said, led to a payment of punitive damages amounting to N32 billion.
“We set up a financial advisory committee led by Abraham Nwankwo, a reputable professional with a good record with DMO (Debt Management Office). Everybody knows he does not take bribes. That is how we found out the state has over 250 bank accounts. I am commencing TSA tomorrow to sanitise the state’s finances.
“When we implement TSA, people will begin to have some sense of confidence in what we do. You were asking about my priority, it is fundamental to restore confidence in governance. The government also wants to prioritise local government autonomy,” the governor said.
On the 150 cases the state lost, he said several courts ordered the state to pay money amounting to N32 billion in damages to several individuals and companies, making the state go deeper in debt.
He also lamented, that despite being a governor of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Okorocha could not get Federal Government’s interventions to the state: “In the last eight years, Imo did not access any of the Federal Government’s support funds. We did not benefit from any Federal Government’s project and he was chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum.
“He could not attract Federal Government’s projects to the state but instead built a prison and a new police headquarters with billions of naira and handed them over to the Federal Government. He was confiscating land left, right and centre; litigation everywhere.
“We have over 150 court judgments against us. There are over N32bn outright judgments against us. Banks are taking our money as soon as it lands in the accounts. We had some people in government conniving with contractors to get judgments against the state in Abuja.”
He also said Okorocha was a failure to the extent of not developing his hometown, Ogboko in Ideato South Local Government.
“In Ideato South Local Government where the former governor comes from, they haven’t had electricity supply for eight years. The man said he was doing concession but state assets were sold off. To who? Himself. You said you sold for N3 billion, where are the records of sale? Who did you pay to?
“Have you gone to the state secretariat? There are 10 buildings inside the secretariat. Last week, I just woke up and told my people let’s go to the secretariat. You need to see the place, everywhere was weedy. They have four generators but none was working. Everywhere, they had cluster of all these small generators called ‘I better pass my neighbour’, that’s what they use to power the place.”
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