17th September, 2017
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has vowed to probe the eight years (2007-2015) tenure of his predecessor and former boss, Chief Martin Elechi.
Umahi served as the deputy governor during Elechi’s second tenure as governor.
Umahi who spoke in Abakaliki while interacting with newsmen in Abakaliki said that he would publish the details of the probe on the pages of newspapers.
According to Umahi, who is the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, he had shielded his former boss enough from the enormous
monumental financial fraud he committed during his administration.
“I am aware of the petition filed against me by the opposition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and I will invite the anti-graft agency to investigate every detail of it.
“I will also submit the financial details of the state from 2015 till date to the EFCC for proper auditing as the commission had
investigated our usage of the Paris Club refund three times and found us free of any wrongdoing,” he said.
The governor noted that he was paying Elechi his pension out of human feeling, because he did not deserve to be paid having failed to pay others.
“Elechi was not paid for just one month and he started crying everywhere and the same person failed to pay pensioners their pensions all through his administration.
“We are currently paying pensions and severance allowances backdated
to 2009 as Elechi did not pay the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnia Onu, his severance allowance as a former governor,” he said.
He explained that a law was made during Elechi’s administration to pay Onu and others, but Elechi vehemently refused to implement the law.
“I remember meeting the state’s Attorney General who was the House of Assembly Speaker at that time inside Elechi’s office and the issue of Onu’s payment was being discussed.
“The speaker asked Elechi what should be done about it as it was in his hands, but he said that the matter should be forgotten.
“Elechi and Onu are now friends, but my government would not be distracted because the opposition’s desires to continue looting the state’s treasury,” he said.
He noted that his administration has gotten interest of over N2billion from fixing unused funds in fixed deposit accounts with that
of the Paris Club refund, generating over N300million.
“Elechi should tell the people which amount he fixed for the state’s benefit as his administration fixed funds in private accounts with the interests accruing to them,” he said.
In his reaction, Elechi spokesperson and his former Commissioner for Education, Mr Ndubisi Agbo, described Umahi’s allegations against his boss as frivolous.
According to Agbo, it was not the first time the governor was making the threat of probing Elechi and wondered why he had not done so since.
“I am stating without fear or favour that my principal is neat and free of all allegations, as he has no skeleton in his cupboard.
“Elechi is not perturbed with Umahi’s gimmicks as he has sponsored over 50 petitions against him without any iota of truth established.
“It is unfortunate that he can say such things against a man he publicly calls a father even inside the church and this is in public knowledge,” he said.
Elechi parted ways with his former deputy as he did not support Umahi’s governorship ambition.
Elechi’ men decamped to Labour Party when Umahi emerged Ebonyi PDP governorship flag bearer. After Umahi’s victory, Elechi decamped to APC.