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Imo vows to recover embezzled N5bn

By Chidi Nkwopara

OWERRI—Imo State Government has vowed that the local government funds in excess of N5 billion, which was allegedly embezzled by former local council officials in the state would be recovered.
Governor Ikedi Ohakim, who made the pledge in his address entitled “Renewing Faith in a Greater Imo,” at the 2010 edition of Imo Stakeholders’ Forum in Owerri, also expressed concern that the audit report was mind boggling.

“Soon after the local government audit report was published, the level of opposition fueled by some big political fishes increased. Government will implement the report to its letter and every kobo missing would be recovered,” Ohakim said.

Blames LG oficials

He linked what he termed “the gross inability of the local council operators to perform their roles optimally” to the level of feasting on local government funds, aided by poor leadership.

“Necessary demand notices had been issued to the debtors by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. Civil proceedings aimed at recovering the debts have been commenced against the debtors,” Ohakim added.
On the issue of Development Bond recently sourced by the state government, the Governor decried the rumours in and outside the state, describing them as deliberately misleading.

“With the realities of these days, development with monthly statutory allocation is out of the question. We have realized the first tranche of N18 billion. This is being applied to mega projects that will turn the economy around,” Ohakim said.


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