Governor Alex Otti’s Adviser On IGR, Chimezie Okoro Did Not Engage In Fraud And Was Not Sacked By Anambra State Government – Ferdinand Ekeoma (SA, Media & Publicity) To Abia Governor

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  1. Preamble:

The Alex Otti led government holds Abians across political, religious and sectional lines in high esteem and thus would at all times act and react in the overall interest of the people.

It is in upholding this noble principle that we deem it honourable and proper to clarify Abians by responding to the allegation levelled against the Special Adviser to the Governor of Abia State on Internally Generated Revenue, Mr. Chimereze Okeigbo Okoro.

  1. The Issue At Stake:

The Executive Director of Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Christian Madubuko alleged that there was “Fraudulent Diversion of Revenue in Anambra state through POSs set up by Mr. Okoro” while he served as Senior Special Assistant to Governor Chukwuma Soludo on Internally Generated Revenue and Digital Transformation.

  1. Facts:

Anambra State Government appointed Mr. Richard Nwora Madiebo (The son of the Late Biafran Hero, Alexander Madiebo) as the Chairman of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, and Mr. Chimereze Okigbo Okoro as Senior Special Assistant on Internally Generated Revenue and Digital Transformation.

Mr. Madiebo and Mr. Okoro are colleagues from the bank and came in with vigour and passion to contribute in transforming Anambra. Both had been offered the opportunity to work in the government of former Governor Willie Obiano, but refused.

Both brought impactful innovations that massively increased IGR and exposed and halted the activities of revenue thieves who decided to fight back in the most vicious manner.

Mr. Madiebo who was on secondment from the bank felt he was not receiving the support and cooperation he needed from the management of Anambra Internal Revenue Service, and subsequently resigned. He went back to the bank where he is already a General Manager.

While the government mourned the shocking and sudden resignation of Madiebo, the Executive Director Mr. Christian Madubuko went about celebrating. (See attached video). For him, one of his major obstacles against Revenue Racketeering in Anambra has been gotten rid of.

His next target which was Chimereze Okoro, but before that would happen, Mr. Okoro began preparing for his resignation and subsequently resigned to join his home state and the new government to fast track development; to their shock and embarrassment.

With Okoro’s resignation and appointment in Abia state, Mr. Madubuko realised that he has embarrassed Anambra State Government and caused her to lose two capable hands, and so decided to unleash a face-saving media onslaught against Mr. Okoro.

For the records, Mr. Madubuko was against any form of automation in Revenue collection and allegedly printed and issued Revenue Collection Authority Letters with fake signatures and his name. See attached letters.

It will also interest us to note that for the past 14 months when Mr. Madiebo and Mr. Okoro ran the state revenue, there was never any record of fake revenue collection authority letter of any sort until the arrival of Madubuko. Also note that Madubuko was appointed alongside 2 other persons as Executive Director.

To sustain this, he connived and fought so hard to frustrate automated Revenue collection in Anambra; little wonder those who are also opposed to automated Revenue collection in Abia have since reached out to him to Intensify the media attack, unfortunately, the more he speaks, the more he embarrasses the government he is serving..

Dr. Madubuko’s appointment in the Anambra Internal Revenue Service has been so controversial. Piles of petition surfaced against him over his past records in the last administration that led to his sack and eventual expulsion from the party.

  1. The Contradictions and the Lies:

(a). Mr. Madubuko knew that there was no case of Fraud against Mr. Okoro hence he cautiously wrote thus “Fraudulent Diversion of Revenue through POSs set up by Mr. Okoro” . If Mr. Okoro helped Anambra state to design framework and strategies to implement the digitization of revenue collections in the state and has no business with writing codes and or doing any form of integration with PSSPs or does not approve their appointments either. If someone was discovered to have used the platform to defraud the state, wouldn’t the right thing have been to investigate and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to book? How does his job of designing strategies and framework for implementation imply connivance when there was a Sole Revenue Automation vendor/consultant approved and appointed by the Anambra State Exco; that’s assuming the allegation is true?

(b) Why has Mr. Madubuko failed to present any document showing that Mr. Okoro had been invited or investigated over the alleged fraud? Why has he also failed to provide any shred of evidence, including the amount that was stolen; the POS record and the bank it was transferred to. This is what an intelligent and honest person would have done to substantiate his allegations.

(C) Why didn’t Mr. Madubuko report Mr. Okoro to the Police on discovery of the alleged fraud if as a Director that reports to a Chairman he has the right to do so, but rather preferred to resort to media trial?

(D). Why did Mr. Madubuko wait for Okoro’s appointment in Abia before circulating his letter? Why did he not deem it fit to report the matter to Okoro’s new employers and provide them with the necessary evidence?

(E). Does Madubuko have the administrative or statutory right to write to the SSA to the Governor in this capacity?

(F) Why has Mr. Madubuko not provided the letter that purportedly sacked Mr. Okoro? Is it possible for a government to acknowledge a letter of resignation in favour of an Appointee it had sacked?

  1. Finally, we enjoin Abians to disregard the report and continue to repose confidence and trust in the present government even as it strives to salvage the state and give Abians a new lease of life.

Ferdinand Ekeoma
Special Adviser
(Media and Publicity) to the
Governor of Abia State

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By Abia ThinkTank

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