The former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has been accused of diverting over N6 billion from the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
According to the investigative panel in Imo State which submitted its report on Wednesday, the panel alleged that citizens and some managing directors colluded with the immediate-past governor to misappropriate ISOPADEC funds.
Romanus Ezeogu, a retired permanent secretary who led the panel, said the Okorocha-led administration handled the funds of ISOPADEC within his eight-year tenure, “from the pit of wickedness.”
The shortfall in revenue accrual from the federation accounts unaccounted for stood at N6, 044, 774, 341.37 and the panel found a systematic diversion of the funds, he said.
He asked that Mr Okorocha be held responsible.
“Simply put, what happened translates to the fact that after diverting the commission’s for whatever purpose, the bare-faced administration of Rochas Okorocha would grab funds from other institutions to make up or cover his misappropriation of funds.
“The issue here begs for an explanation on what happened to the original 40 percent monthly derivation fund allocated to the ISOPADEC. Rochas Okorocha should roundly be held responsible for the entire fund missing.“The law establishing ISOPADEC provides its funding from the 13 per cent derivation from the federation accounts and not from other sources,” he said.
Mr Ezeogu said the panel also discovered the arbitrary release of funds close to the incumbent’s inauguration. About N422 million was released to a firm for the supply of pre-inauguration vehicles and N200 million was hurriedly released for the purchase of transformers during the campaign, he explained.
On the construction of the failed Marine University, he disclosed that the project gulped N402 million. This, he described as a mirage.
While he appreciated the efforts of the panel, Governor Ihedioha promised to look into the report to pass a white paper on it – even as he assured that it is not a witch-hunt.