THANK GOD THE PROBES HAS STARTED TO UNBUNDLE THE ABIA CORRUPTION TINDERBOX.
The referendum that brought about the landslide election of Dr. Alexander Chioma Otti as the governor to drive the new Abia State of responsible government had only one thing in mind, to fight corruption and bring all those who perpetrated corruption and who by their acts of commission and omission contributed to making the state a mockery in the comity of other States.
It would be unthinkable for His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti to avoid bringing those who variously gang raped the state to coma to the book of accountability. It is in this score that his equivalent of the Oputa Judicial panel for corruption in Abia state is highly welcome and a breathe of fresh air.
The governor should also be praised for keeping his campaign promise to get to the root of corruption in Abia state despite widespread political blackmail and political quid pro quos being offered by unconscionable men who are only driven wickedness and atavistic greed.
But by the time the lid of corruption in the state is blown open to let the cankerworms out, you will bear witnesses to the worst forms of criminality ever to take place in this country. You will read about the mind-blowing rot and crimes against humanity that took place in the state being captioned as God’s Own State.
You will bear witness on how one state actor and his family alone stole N500 Billion Naira of state funds in 8 years, how the case as reported in EFCC was peogineholed for 8 years after bribing them, how 110 bank accounts were used to launder our money by just one man in a privileged position, how 22+5 oil wells proceeds arrears amounting to N20 Billion was shared by four persons in this state, how $200 million US dollars of the Paris funds refund to the state was claimed by one family and their cohorts, how the just sacked Ikpeazu government facilitated the payment of this huge sums of money to a front company few days to leaving office, how over N50 Billion bailout funds were frittered, fleeced and laundered by few in the state, how N27 Billion world bank Newmap intervention funds for Aba was brazenly stolen by one governor and few cohorts and on and on.
The criminality that happened to the State is sheer madness. It is simply unforgivable. Abians would have fought back against Alex Otti if he wavered any bit not to keep his promise to revisit the past misdeeds of these felons and open their books of calamities for the world to see. That is why I wrote in my last piece that Abians must stay united in this fight because it is not the governor’s fight alone.
But to succeed, the terms of reference for the Judicial Panel of Inquiry must be tinkered or bent backwards to at least embody the last two administration in the state. The two last administrations of Theodore Orji and Okezie Ikpeazu operated like a siamese twins. They were both inextricably tied in most financial dealings as stated above. You won’t get to the roots if you don’t dig the foundation of most of these financial dealings. Most of the deals originated from the times of Theodore Orji. His government must be co-opted to give account or we will be chasing shadows. The terms of reference must therefore go back to 2007 when Theodore Orji was sworn in for us to make meaningful progress in the probes.
Secondly, it might be necessary to consider taking some sittings of the panel to either Lagos or Abuja in the case of those who might cite security as reasons not to come to Abia to face the panel.
By setting up this Judicial panel, Dr. Alex Otti has behaved true to type and must be commended by all men of good will. It is the only gift he has given to Abians since assuming office as the governor. He has by so doing written his name in gold and posterity will hold these actions of his very highly as a man of honor and of great conscience.
Dr. Engr. Odo Ijere, okpotemba.