By Chinonso Alozie
The former governor of Imo state and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district, Rochas Okorocha, on Wednesday said his former Deputy Governor, Matine Agbaso, was impeached because of alleged collection of bribery of N458 million from JPROS construction company in 2013.
Okorocha disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri, through his Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, while reacting to a statement credited to Agabso.
According to the former governor’s anger was that, “ln Agbaso’s latest vituperation, he described his government as the worst. But he failed woefully to say how. With his impeachment, he could not have been a reliable and honest witness or commentator on Okorocha and his governorship in lmo. His assessment of Okorocha’s government should be adjudged, prejudiced and jaundiced, on arrival. Null and void. Of no effect whatsoever.”
He continued: “Ten years after, Sir Jude Agbaso has remained excessively angry or aggrieved over his impeachment in 2013, by the lmo State House of Assembly, for allegedly demanding and collecting N458Million bribe, from Mr Dina, the Managing Director of JPROS Company, that had N1.3 billion Contract for the Reconstruction of Sam. Mbakwe Road, Owerri.
“Jude Agbaso should have covered his face in shame, instead of resorting to incessant, unwarranted and unprovoked media attacks on Okorocha.
“Since 2013, when he was impeached as the Deputy Governor of lmo State, Agbaso has not relented in attacking his destiny helper and benefactor, Distinguished Senator Rochas Okorocha, in the media and uncalled for. And the simple reason is that he has not been able to find his feet, since he was impeached as Deputy Governor. Ten years after, he has remained staggering, thinking about which leg to put forward first.
“The JPROS M.D, who let the cat of the alleged N458 million bribe out of the bag, appeared before the 7- man judicial panel, set up by the Assembly then to investigate the bribe claim and he gave a vivid account of What happened. How the money was paid through bank accounts in Lebanon and Dubai. lt was not Okorocha who testified against him.
“Instead of appearing before the panel to defend himself and to confront the JPROS M. D, he went to court to stop the Panel. The trial Judge, Justice Florence Duruoha-we threw out his suit, describing it as, incompetent. The judge added that ” from the facts before the court, he was not denied a fair hearing “. lt was not Okorocha that said that, but the court and on his suit.
“Twenty-four members of the Assembly including Hon. Adaku lhuoma, who moved the motion for his Impeachment, in her capacity as the majority leader of the House and excluding the speaker, signed for his impeachment. The remaining two members travelled within the period in question. Okorocha didn’t play any role to that effect.
“Okorocha made Agbaso Commissioner for Works, even as a sitting Deputy Governor. ln other words, he was Deputy Governor and also Commissioner for Works. And if the M. D of JPROS could boldly come out to claim that, he demanded and collected an N458 million bribe, and he could not appear to defend himself, against Dina’s claim, one could imagine what must have been the case, with other Contractors who could not have had the kind of courage the JPROS M.D had.
“Okorocha had trusted Agbaso by allowing him to double as Deputy Governor and as Commissioner for Works, which no other governor had done in the state. And Okorocha’s aim for doing that was grossly defeated because the beneficiary of the kind gestures, decided to play rough, following Dina’s claim and similar stories of improprieties. One could also fathom easily, why some of the roads constructed under him as Commissioner for Works, were the ones described by opponents of Okorocha as “China” roads,” Okorocha said.