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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Diversion Of Bail Out Funds: U.S based Educationist, Nwokeji Blasts Imo State House Of Assembly Members


.Says Okorocha, Lawmakers Are Partners In Fleecing Imo State Finances
 An Imo State born United States educationist, Prof Chris Nwokeji has tongue lashed the Imo State House of Assembly over its silence on the diversion of bailout funds by State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

 Nwokeji was reacting to allegations made by the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which accused the governor of diverting part of the bailout funds for other purposes.  
According to the ICPC, Imo State collected N26, 806, 430, 000, 00 from the central Bank of Nigeria, paid the amount into two commercial Banks and transferred part of the money into uses not related to workers salaries.

  It also discovered that N2 billion was lodged into a Government House Account, N2 billion paid into Imo State Project Account, while another N2 billion was lodged in a micro finance bank and a “management fee” of N21 million paid into an unspecified account out of the bailout received by the State.

 Reacting to the allegations while speaking to newsmen in Owerri, Nwokeji said the House of Assembly which maintained a strange silence on the weighty allegations against the governor on the diversion of the bailout funds have now proved to all and sundry that it is an active collaborator in the indiscriminate fleecing of finances of the state by the State by Governor Okorocha.  

He said in saner climes, such allegations against the governor should have attracted the concern and intervention of the House of Assembly which is supposed to be representative of the interest  of the people since the bailout funds was meant for the payment of salaries of workers in the State.

According to him, each lawmaker in the Assembly betrayed his or her constituents who elected them because the workers come from their respective constituencies, adding that the attitude of the House members have also confirmed widely held belief in the state that they are errand boys and playthings of the governor who respond to his dictates and wishes.

Nwokeji added that this singular act displayed by the State legislature by waving away the allegations against the governor on the bailout funds has also confirmed the fears of well meaning citizens of the State that Okorocha and the House members are partners in their hidden and collective agenda to impoverish the people of the State through diversion of the commonwealth of the people of the State.

He stated that the issue of diversion of the bailout funds given to Imo State by the Federal Government to take care of workers’ salaries is a crime against humanity committed by the governor, aided and abated by the state legislature, and therefore should attract the recall of all members of the House by their constituents.

The educationist pointed out that one had expected the House members to launch full scale investigation into the allegations and possibly initiate impeachment proceedings against the State governor for betraying public trust and illegally tampering with public funds.

He said “The failure of the House members to take appropriate actions on the diversion of the bailout fund has again shown that they are not only politically impotent but oblivious of their legislative responsibilities and are not representing the interest of majority of the people of Imo State who elected them into the hallowed chambers”.

“These House members are hen-packed set of legislators who have clearly abdicated their legislative responsibilities and are far away from the norms that moderate legislative functions”

“They have once again shown to Imo people that they are not for them but for themselves and their pockets and painfully, aiding the governor in his dictatorial tendencies in governing Imo State like his fiefdom or empire whose actions is unchallenged and whose word is law” 

He cautioned the lawmakers not to continue on their ignoble path, turn a new leaf and possibly take up refresher courses on the role of the legislature in a democracy which is to check and balance the excesses of the executive particularly an executive propelled by a State governor like Okorocha who has never hidden his glutton for public funds

 He said it is regrettable that Okorocha could contemplate diverting monies for workers in Imo State released by the federal government and at the same time wanted to relieve over 3,000 workers of their duties in order to cover up the monies he diverted from the bailout funds, adding that only a robust legislature alive to its constitutional responsibilities can put a check on the excesses of such an inconsiderate and inhumane State governor.

Nwokeji also berated Imo elders, clergies, professionals and honoured role models for keeping quiet while the state burned. He advised them to speak up against evil and deviant tendencies of political leaders saying, negative actions of our political leaders hold dire consequences for all citizens and residents, big or small, rich or poor.


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