18th January, 2013
A former Governor of Nigeria’s Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has denied being arrested or detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
According to a report, Ohakim was allegedly arrest in connection with the N62 billion fraud contained in a government audit report.
An audit report entitled, “Imo State Account Reconciliation June 2007-May 2011”, submitted to the state government on Monday, alleged that the former governor defrauded Imo Government of N62 billion. The Chairman of the committee, Mr Jude Agbaso, who presented the report, said the alleged fraud was carried out through the over valuing of contracts and absence of payment vouchers for contracts awarded.
Agbaso, who is the Deputy Governor of the state, alleged the lack of due process in the award of contracts, improper authorisation of payments and the lack of projects executed by the administration.
But Ohakim told newsmen in a telephone interview on Thursday that he was never arrested as published in an Owerri- based tabloid and widely rumoured in the state. He described the newspaper report as “a figment of the reporter’s mind.”
“What did I do that EFCC should arrest me? If EFCC invites me, I will answer them. In fact, before now, the agency had invited me once or twice to come and give some information.
“I have never been arrested before by EFCC and as I am speaking, I am holding a meeting in my office in Asokoro, Abuja,” Ohakim said.
Ohakim explained that before he left office, he prepared a 300-page handover note and an accompanying 22-page summary, which he handed over to Gov. Rochas Okorocha.
According to him, the handover document contains the 900 water schemes and other projects initiated and completed by his administration in four years.
“For Okorocha to say that my administration barely managed to complete two or three projects during my tenure is a sure proof that he never read, has refused to read, or did not understand what I put down in the handover document,” Ohakim said.
He recalled that the Isiekenesi-Osina road, which was awarded by the Sam Mbakwe administration in 1983 and abandoned by subsequent administrations in the state, was completed by his administration.
Ohakim explained that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was usually collected by a bank and remitted to the 27 local governments at the end of every new month.