Members of the seven panels set up by Imo State Government, to critically look into specific activities of the state government, between 2011 and 2019, have been dragged to the Federal High Court, Abuja, by Senator Rochas Okorocha.
Also included in the suit, which is marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2020, are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Attorney General of Imo State, and eight members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Contracts.
Okorocha equally joined members of the Justice Florence Duruoha-Igwe chaired Judicial Commission on Lands and Related Matters, members of the Panel to Investigate the Activities of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC, and members of the Panel to Investigate the Status of Newly Established Tertiary Institutions, in the suit.
Others are members of the Investigative Committee for Financial Transactions in Imo State, Committee for the Review of Appointments, Recruitments, and Related Matters from 2015 to date, as we as the Committee for the Investigation of the Local Government Areas and Councillors, chaired by Chief Eze Duruiheoma, SAN.
Already, the Registrar of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Contracts, Mr. Emmanuel A. Obi, has been subpoenaed “to produce the testimony of Zigreat Co. Limited, before the Contract Award Tribunal, as represented by Cyracus Duru”.
However, Obi has replied to the subpoena, through Okorocha’s counsel, C. A. N. Osondu, informing the Court that “from the records available in the Secretariat of this Commission, the record sought to be produced, does not exist.”
Meanwhile, the former Cashier in the Accountant General’s Office, Dr. Ethelbert Ojiaku, yesterday, in JUD/CICA/119M/2020, told the Commission that the releases he made to the Director of Accounts, Government House, were not tied to specific projects or contractors.
“Vouchers for contracts were domiciled in the Pay Office. I released funds without knowing who the beneficiaries were, and at all times, the Principal Secretary sent in all the approvals”, Ojiaku said.
Answering another question, the witness said that “the Director of Accounts, Government House, must account for all releases made to his office”, stressing that “it was wrong if the Director of Accounts paid anybody without vouchers”.