Emeka Ihedioha, Imo Governor-elect has warned banks and other financial institutions against illegal dealings with out-going governor Rochas Okorocha. He warned financial institutions to stop new transactions with the state government or do so at their own peril.
Ihedioha said this at a media interaction at his residence in Owerri, the Imo State capital. The governor-elect warned that Okorocha could be plotting dirty deals with the financial institution to siphon state funds before the May 29 handover. He said new transactions would increase chances of illegal activities and jeopardize the financial stability of the state.
The governor-elect commended other contestants in the election for their “sportsmanship” and urged them to partner his administration to “restore the dignity of the state”. He described his success at the poll as a “new path to progress” which would signal an end to impunity and brazenness in the state. Ihedioha promised to ensure that the citizens remained united for a common purpose and shun divisiveness. Dedicating his success to the “common man,” in the state, he commended the people for buying into his vision of realizing a dream state, while promising to work hard to justify their faith in him.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies for their roles in ensuring that the election was credible. The Imo State governor-elect hinted of plans to set up a transition committee to liaise with the outgoing government to ensure a smooth transition and chart a way forward for the state. He promised to work out programmes, which would engage the youth as a way to end drug abuse and curb vices, starting with the rehabilitation of the four technical colleges in the state.
On the other hand, Governor Rochas Okorocha, reacted to Ihedioha, saying that governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha, has no constitutional powers to issue directives to banks when he has not yet been sworn in as governor. Okorocha, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, said the governor-elect was “behaving like a typical member of the Peoples Democratic Party;” and that he is “only interested in the state treasury.”
Okorocha asked Ihedioha to exercise patience until May 29 before he starts issuing directives to banks on the state’s financial dealings. He said, “Emeka Ihedioha, who was declared the winner of the governorship election in Imo State by Prof. Francis Ezeonu-led INEC in Owerri, does not have the right or locus yet to harass or give directives to the financial institutions in the state over their dealings with the state government.
‘The media report quoting Ihedioha as having given such directive is unfortunate and a sign of ugly things to come. Otherwise, Ihedioha should not have been the first of all the governors-elect in the country to issue such directive.
“We are also not surprised at his issuing the directive because as a PDP man, his interest, first and foremost, will be the treasury of the state, and the policy or the slogan of ‘Share the money’ will soon come back. But he should exercise patience and wait till he is sworn-in. “He shouldn’t be in a hurry. There is a government in place and until May 29, 2019, that government should continue.”
Meanwhile, the Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over alleged banking transactions leading to massive withdrawals to the tune of over N17 billion in the last three days since the declaration of governorship election results by Governor Rochas Okorocha and his cronies.
Disclosing this to our correspondent, the state Chairman of PDP, Chief Charles Ezekwem said that between Tuesday, 12th March and Thursday, 14th March 2019, Governor Okorocha had made major withdrawals from Banks amounting to over N17 billion.
“We are aware of the rampant issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to family members and friends of Okorocha’s family. The party warns those involved that they do so at their own peril. This massive looting of Imo treasury is in addition to the previous looting of Paris Club and bailout funds, which led to the plunging the state into huge indebtedness. “Once again, we warn financial institutions against collaborating with governor Okorocha to continue the looting of our collective commonwealth as they shall be held responsible,” he alleged