Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, on Wednesday was given a one-month ultimatum, to fully implement former Governor Emeka Ihedioha’s report of the commission of inquiry on contract awards and alleged looting of the state assets to the tune of over N130 billion by the former Governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
The Sincere Concerned Organisation, SCO, led by the Director General, Mrs. Foluke Olabimbe Lemechi, gave the ultimatum during a press briefing in Owerri.
“Imo people were ecstatic when the current administration started the implementation of the White Paper with the recovery of the multi-billion Naira K O Mbadiwe University at Ogboko which Rochas Okorocha had brazenly appropriated. The so-called Shell camp Land measuring many hectares at the layout of the work has been recovered. But we are aware that several assets including an amount far above N130b are still in the hands of Okorocha.
“That exactly is why we are here today. And that explains our sadness and frustration. We are here to express our displeasure with the Government for its failure to fully implement the recommendation of the White Paper, especially in the recovery of the humungous amount of money looted by Okorocha. By now Okorocha ought to be behind bars if he is obdurate concerning the refund of assets and money he stole from Imo people.
“But because he is still in possession of that ill-gotten loot, Okorocha is now plotting to buy his way to power through a proxy. Because Government is foot-dragging, Okorocha now has the effort to spit on the faces of the Imo people, especially those who have been impoverished by his rapacious tyranny. His audacity in the face of this mindless looting of our shared patrimony rankles, and that is why we are angry with what is happening.
“Is it that Rochas Okorocha is untouchable or that the arms of the law are too short to reach and seize him? If the EFCC is playing hide and seek with him, can’t he be taken to court directly based on the white paper?
“While we have refrained from taking the law into our hands, waiting for the government and the judiciary to bring Rochas Okorocha to justice, we wish to inform Nigerians that our patience is running thin with each passing day. We don’t want the victims of Okorocha’s brigandage and open robbery to die before the emperor is brought to justice. We don’t want to wait until Okorocha succeeds in installing a stooge as governor to continue the looting spree before he is stopped.”
“Consequently, we are giving the Government of His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma a one-month ultimatum to take immediate steps to implement fully the White Paper on recovery of stolen property, especially the more than N130b being illegally held by Okorocha.
“If after the expiration of the ultimatum, Okorocha has not returned the Money or he is not in jail, we shall take all lawful steps to ensure that justice is served, so that would be Public Office holders would not think that it is a norm to steal from the public purse and go scot-free,” they said.