anel set up to investigate the finances of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission on Thursday submitted its reports to the Governor, Emeka Ihedioha.
The panel headed by Romanus Ezeogu accused a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, of allegedly diverting over N6bn that accrued to the commission during his administration.
But Okorocha has dismissed the allegation, saying the state governor was only on a vendetta mission.
Ezeogu said, “The panel findings on finance and Monterey Bay transactions in the commission showed that ex-governor Okorocha administered the accounts of the commission as a slush fund as over N6, 044,774,341.37 could not be accounted for.
“The issue here begs for explanation on what happened to the original 40 per cent monthly derivation fund allocated to ISOPADEC.
“Governor Okorocha should be held responsible for the missing funds. The law establishing ISOPADEC provides its funding from the 13 per cent derivation from the Federation Account.”
Ezeogu also alleged that the former governor took N422m from the commission’s treasury to purchase pre-Inauguration vehicles and also allegedly diverted N200m to purchase transformers during the 2019 campaigns.
He said there was proof that the last administration in the state spent over N400m on the abandoned Marine University at Osemoto in the Oguta Local Government Area of the state.
The panel further alleged that it discovered N1bn lodged in Ecobank, Obinze branch which was withdrawn without bank details or description of any kind.
Ihedioha, while responding, said it was important to know what happened in the past if the commission must be positioned for a more efficient service delivery towards realising its mandate.
“It is important to note that this is not a witch-hunt. I assure you of a sense of justice while implementing these recommendations after the white paper must have been submitted,” he said.
When contacted, Okorocha, who spoke through his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, said the state governor was only on a vendetta mission.
Onwuemeodo said the former governor improved the lots of the oil-bearing communities in the state during his administration including building a “befitting” secretariat for ISOPADEC.