A report by an investigative panel in Imo State revealed that a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, allegedly diverted over N6 billion from the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
This was contained in a report by the panel which said N6,044,774,341.37 of the agency’s funds could not be accounted for, the Nation newspaper reports.
The report comes about seven months after the panel was set up to carry out the investigation.
The current state governor, Emeka Ihedioha, had in June 2019, set up the eight-man panel to probe the activities of Mr Okorocha’s administration.
He had mandated the committee to, among other things, conduct a forensic audit on the accounts of the state domiciled in several banks.
Mr Ihedioha also asked the panel to ascertain and document the locations of and balances on all bank accounts operated by Imo State Government, its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies as of May 29, 2019.
In the report submitted on Wednesday, the panel alleged that citizens and some managing directors colluded with the immediate-past governor to misappropriate ISOPADEC funds.
Romanus Ezeogu, a retired permanent secretary who led the panel, said the Okorocha-led administration handled the funds of ISOPADEC within his eight-year tenure, “from the pit of wickedness.”
The shortfall in revenue accrual from the federation accounts unaccounted for stood at N6, 044, 774, 341.37 and the panel found a systematic diversion of the funds, he said.
He asked that Mr Okorocha be held responsible.
“Simply put, what happened translates to the fact that after diverting the commission’s for whatever purpose, the bare-faced administration of Rochas Okorocha would grab funds from other institutions to make up or cover his misappropriation of funds.
“The issue here begs for an explanation on what happened to the original 40 per cent monthly derivation fund allocated to the ISOPADEC. Rochas Okorocha should roundly be held responsible for the entire fund missing.