Press Statement – 10/1/2020
…..Calls on Abia Government to Probe past Governors and cronies
An Abia – based economic rights advocacy group – Pathtogrowth Entrepreneurship Centre has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for beaming its searchlights on the Ex-Governors of Abia state and their cronies.
The Executive Director of Pathtogrowth Centre, Comrade Sam Ekwuribe lauded EFCC’s efforts following the recent report by several media houses of ongoing investigation of Ex-Governor T. A. Orji and his son Chinedum Orji (Current Speaker, Abia House of Assembly) over alleged money laundering amounting to over N150billion.
It will be recalled that barely 3months ago another ex- governor of the state Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison over illegal diversion and laundering of N5.5billion.
Sam Ekwuribe welcomed the efforts of the EFCC to hold to account seemingly powerful individuals that have once held public offices noting that it will serve as a deterrent to others presently in office.
The NGO which promotes accountability in governance noted with dismay that the Abia state Government both past and present has not complained about losing these funds.
Asking rhetorically he said ‘’how come Abia state is losing money in billions and yet not complaining or searching for them? Is Abia state that rich not to notice the loss of billions’’
The Ikpeazu – led government have therefore been called upon to urgently set up a judicial commission of inquiry that would also review all financial transactions and carry out a forensic audit to establish sources of funds and how they are disbursed from 1999 to date. The outcome of the audits will enable the states file rejoinders at the courts so as to be in a position to benefit if any of the looted funds are recovered.
The Pathtogrowth Entrepreneurship Centre is an NGO that focuses on enhancing economic opportunity through advocacy, capacity building and developmental initiatives.
They have decried the spate of looting and corruption in Abia state and other parts of the South East while pointing out that these funds could be used to help spur economic development and boost small businesses which is where Abia and other Southern states have comparative advantage.
In making the call, the group has promised to mobilize young Abians citizens soon to protest the inaction and indifference of the Abia state Government and to send a message to public officials in the state that they will no longer watch as their future is being destroyed.
Mr Sam Ekwuribe
Executive Director, Pathtogrowth Centre
10th February 2020
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