The people of Abia State may be in for a long ride of underdevelopment, as findings by SecretReporters revealed that Mr Okezie Ikpeazu is on his way to becoming the worst governor the state has ever produced.
Ikpeazu who was forced on the state by his godfather, Theodore Orji and heavily financed by Ifeanyi Uba plunged the state into N43.02 billion debt in just one year, without a single project to show for the borrowing. This money according to sources was never approved by the State House of Assembly, as there’s no Hansard in the Assembly that showed that the approval was discussed on the floor of the house.
Like an occultic kingdom, Ikpeazu has kept away the budget of the state from the public. We gathered that the amended 2015 budget, 2016, 2017 and the 2018 budgets were filled with fraudulent insertions by the governor and his kitchen cabal members.
One of such fraud is the inclusion of the staggering sum of N26.27 billion on ‘Defence’ when there has been no single crisis since he came into power. The only minor IPOC hitch was solely financed by the Nigerian Army, without a single contribution from the State.
In Nigeria, Defence is in the exclusive list of the Federal Government and not a duty of any state government. The money for the Defence according to Ikpeazu was gotten from the borrowed money, during voucher retirement in the Ministry of Finance and Accountant General’s office.
Efforts to retire the borrowed money have been a herculean task for the state governor, who’s gradually getting close to the end of his tenure. Sources confided in us that Ikpeazu is afraid that he may not return, hence the jitter to close all books and retire every fraudulent invoice and voucher.
We gathered that attempts to reconcile the defence budget and other expenses made the State’s Accountant General, Sir Gabriel Onyendilefu and other directors to run to another state, where the records were cooked and brought back. That was the first and last time that Defence ever appeared in the State’s budget again as seen in the Abia Capital Development Fund documents.
In Abia State, Ikpeazu also inserted in the budget the sum of N80,000 for ordinary tin tomato, which cost just N50 Naira in a shopping mall in Nigeria’s most expensive cities.
Government sources disclosed that Ikpeazu has promised to sack anyone who makes the budget available to the citizens.
Attempts to speak to John Oki Kalu, the State Commissioner for Information proved abortive. It’s his custom not to pick calls from SecretReporters, as he viewed the medium as being too critical of his principal’s fraudulent administration.