OKEZIE VICTOR IKPEAZU’S FINAL CAPITULATION.
The newsstands, newsletters, tabloids and social media are awash with news of OVI pleadings with the EFCC to tarry investigations of LG funds till after he hands over to the incoming administration.
The funds on the average of N130 million per local government is averaging about N300 Billion in 8years which in dollar terms and considering the variation of the official exchange rates from N190@2015 to N470@2023 is estimated at about $800 Million dollars.
This is the amount of money frittered at the 17 local government of the state with nothing to show for it.
No rural roads were completed in the 17lgas of the state but about USD$800 Million was presumed to be spent by officials in the state. In most of the time, local government administrators were imposed in the name of TC chairpersons to aid and abet the impunity of sharing LG funds into private pockets.
I can submit without equivocation and with all sense of justification that among the comity of thieves recorded in this country, Abia ranks the best looters of the Republic much to our collective shame. I have very often been rudely shut up by ethno tribal dottards in public fora who’s often refrain, “what about your state which has the worst governor” always caught me looking for what to say.
But today, Ikpeazu, the man on the spot will boldly rather push for an incoming governor to go and render account to the EFCC for monies presumably spent by him at the local governments. How possible will that be? The same way he advocates that the incoming governor should complete the new governor’s lodge at Ogurube started by Theodore Orji and not completed by him after 16 years?. What a heartless man?
It is purely a manifestation of the fact that Ikpeazu and his cohorts may be busy mutilating and undulating facts and figures in their handover notes. It may be crucial therefore that they’re advised to pay adequate attention into putting their books in balance especially where it concerns the huge funds that went into the local governments in 8years and which they unconscionably categorized as free funds only meant for sharing.
EFCC coming up now to begin a probe is much timely and a very welcome development considering the humongous amount involved. It may be necessary to caution them that this present or presumed probe should not be treated as a blackmail to milk money from state officials as was done with the “Ikuku” probe of N550 Billion which produced nothing till this day.
Just like Ikpeazu is waving the white flag today to EFCC without surrendering, Chinedum Orji had equally waved a white flag to EFCC in 2018 and refused to surrender in essence and till today, he never returned any money to the state, never rendered accounts of his massive heist to anybody, never got arraigned after his EFCC spectacular indictment of laundering N550 Billion using 110 different accounts etcetera. He rather pays monthly protection fees to officials than submit to arraignment or even acquit himself of wrong doing. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?, very smart scholars of the school of OUK Institute of Crookology. Only in Abia.
The N300 Billion LG funds under review must follow due process with arrests of all the key players involved. EFCC should also place key officials of Abia state government under their watch list amid rumors that very many of them have acquired foreign citizenship or passports of other nations in preparation for imminent mass escapes even before the handover date of May, 29th, 2023.
EFCC should be ready to demonstrate to the world their true constitutional essence and roles of fighting corruption and malfeasance with Abia state as the case study.
Odo Ijere, okpotemba.