A panel set up to investigate the finances of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission has submitted its reports to the state governor, Emeka Ihedioha.
The panel headed by Romanus Ezeogu accused former governor Rochas Okorocha of diverting over N6b that accrued to the commission during his administration.
Ezeogu said, “The panel findings on finance and Monetary Bay transactions in the commission showed that ex-governor Okorocha had administered the accounts of the commission as a slush fund as over N6,044,774,341.37 could not be accounted for.
“The issue here begs for an explanation on what happened to the original 40 percent monthly derivation fund allocated to ISOPADEC. Governor Okorocha should be held responsible for the missing funds. The law establishing ISOPADEC provides its funding from the 13 per cent derivation from the federation account.”
Ezeogu equally alleged that Okorcha took N422m from the commission’s treasury to purchase pre-inauguration vehicles from Rise and Shine Motors and also diverted N200 million to purchase transformers during the 2019 campaigns.
He said, “We discovered that Dr Pascal Obi, former principal secretary to the ex-governor, who is now a member of the House of Representatives received N35m from the commission’s funds and we recommend that he be summoned to explain what he did with the money.
“We also recommend that the commission be restructured to ensure sustainable development in oil producing areas of Imo State.”
The governor while reacting to the report of the panel said, “Going forward, it is important we get through what happened in the past if we must reposition the Commission for a more efficient delivery towards realising its mandate.”
However, Okorocha, when contacted, said that the governor was on a vendetta mission.
His media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, said his principal uplifted the lots of the oil-bearing communities in the state during his administration including building a “befitting” secretariat for ISOPADEC.