Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ebonyi State chapter has accused the state governor, David Umahi, of looting the state treasury in the aftermath of a High Court judgment which sacked him from office.
PDP, in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, claimed that the governor has withdrawn over N6 billion in the past one week.
But Gov. Umahi, in a swift reaction, denied the allegation, dismissing it as “a satanic”, concocted to blackmail and distract him.
The petition was signed by a Lawyer, Nkemakolam Okoro, of Dynamic Option Chambers who claimed to be a lawyer to Ebonyi State chapter of the PDP.
PDP in the petition, claimed that the said money allegedly withdrawn by the governor was to fund his appeal against the court judgment that sacked him from office.
According to the petition, the money is to be allegedly used to pay the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, who the governor has hired to handle the matter.
PDP further alleged that the funds were withdrawn from the state’s accounts domiciled in about nine commercial banks.
The opposition party, therefore, urged the EFCC to stop the Governor from further looting of the state’s treasury.
Umahi, who dismissed the petition as a deliberate attempt by the opposition party to blackmail him, urged members of the public to discountenance the allegations.
The governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji, described the allegations contained in the petition as “irresponsibly false and unfounded, cruel and malicious.”
A statement issued by the commissioner and made available to Ikengaonline read in part:”The entirety of the content of the trending petition addressed to EFCC is absolutely and irresponsibly false, malicious and nothing but a serial of the politically calculated attempt by PDP and desperados to damage the hard -earned reputation of the governor and the integrity of the State Government.”
The statement claimed that “the petitioners want to use the allegations to attack the credibility of the outcome of the dispensations of all institutions involved in ensuring that justice is done in all the legal actions framed up by PDP to distract the ever performing administration of Governor Umahi, especially to cause him distractions in his intention to run for the presidency come 2023”
Umahi has threatened to commence legal proceedings against the petitioners for defamation.
While noting that the “State Government’s expenditures are in the public domain”, the statement described Umahi as “a prudent manager of the state’s resources”.
“We refute the allegations of ‘looting of Ebonyi State Government’s money’ made by People’s Democratic Party, PDP against our transparent administration as a satanic blackmail that has no iota of truth, desperately calculated to attract the attention of the gullible and sully the reputation of the Governor of the State and which we shall not hesitate in invoking legal actions to bring the petitioners to justice”.
“Ebonyi State Government’s expenditure is in the public domain, and there is no doubt that Governor Umahi’s administration has been adjudged to be one of the most transparent, judicious prudent and corrupt-free administrations in Nigeria”.
According to the statement, Umahi has expressed his readiness to waive his immunity and surrender himself for investigation.
The statement urged EFCC to take necessary sanctions against the petitioners for false and fake information if their allegations are not established.