The Justice Benjamin Iheaka Panel of Inquiry, which investigated the contracts awarded by ex-Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha between 2006 and 2019, yesterday, asked those who awarded the contracts and contractors to refund N106 billion to the state government.
The panel claimed that they did not follow due process while awarding the contracts.
Speaking while submitting the report to Governor Hope Uzodimma at the Government House, Owerri, Iheaka, said there was “a monumental fraud” in the award of contracts.
“There was a monumental fraud orchestrated by the contractors in the period under review with strong collusion with some civil servants who helped in the fraud evidenced in over-pricing of the value of the contracts executed in the state,” he said.
“There were outrageous contract pricing and shady contract executions as well as payment for non-performing contracts.”
Iheaka said the panel discovered that non-existing companies were used in siphoning government funds to the tune of N106 billion.
The chairman urged the governor to recover the money from those indicted.
He said the panel identified some civil servants who refused to compromised.
Uzodimma promised that those indicted would be made to return the money, saying the state government needed the money for developmental issues.
He promised to set up a review panel to examine the documents and produce a White Paper for its implementation.