Imo State government yesterday said former Governor Emeka Ihedioha intended to return to the office to avoid being probe for his administration’s alleged misdeeds.
A whistleblower, Obodozie Ihezue, had alleged in a May 8 petition to the House of Assembly that over N78.4 billion spent in seven months by the Ihedioha administration cannot be accounted for.
The state Auditor-General for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had issued an interim audit report detailing how N19.63b fraudulently disappeared from the Local Government accounts between May and December 31, 2019 under Ihedioha.
None of the allegations against Ihedioha has been proven, nor is he on trial for corruption. He has also consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The governor could not be reached yesterday for comments as his media aide did not pick or return his calls.
The state said it was awaiting the outcome of the various panels investigating the short-lived administration.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, claimed that Ihedioha’s bid to return to power was not in the people’s interest but borne from the need for self-preservation.
He implied that Ihedioha was behind a suit seek further judicial interpretation of a matter already decided by the Supreme Court in favour of Governor Hope Uzodimma.
Emelumba claimed that since the Supreme Court removed Ihedioha from office early this year, the former governor had been making moves to return to power rather than accept his fate.
“Apart from abusing court processes by filing multiple suits on matters already resolved by the Supreme Court, Ihedioha had been sponsoring protests against the government of Hope Uzodinma in the vain hope of portraying it as unpopular,” the commissioner said.
He noted that that unlike Celestine Omehia of Rivers, Prof Osunbor of Edo and Chris Ngige of Anambra states, all of whom were removed by the Supreme Court but accepted their fate, Ihedioha had refused to move on.
He urged Ihedioha and his supporters to accept their fate over a matter that has been settled.
To him, Ihedioha as a young man with a political future ought to have moved on after the Supreme Court judgment.
He said the former governor may be “squandering whatever goodwill he has left on unnecessary and repetitive litigations”.
“If truly he is working for the interest of lmo people, why this level of desperation and why is he afraid of a probe?