From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
The Imo State Government has said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must have been misinformed over an alleged N40billion loan scam involving the government and Zenith Bank as no such facility was taken by the administration.
Reacting to the alleged loan scam , the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Chinedu Ofor said it was an attempt by the opposition to divert the attention of the people from the probe of the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in the state, as such loan facility was never taken by the government.
In a press statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr.Chinedu Ofor, the government stated that the purported arrest of the Commissioner for Finance, Chike Okafor and the Accountant-General of the state, George Eche by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Abuja over an alleged N40billion loan scam involving the state and Zenith Bank as unfounded and entirely false, adding that the Anti-graft agency made a mistake.
“The attention of the government of Imo State has been drawn to the report of the detention of the Commissioner for Finance, Deacon Chike Okafor and the Accountant-General of the state, Mr. George Eche by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The report also alleged that both government officials were arrested for obtaining a N40billion loan from Zenith Bank on behalf of the state government.” Mr Offor, maintained that, “the allegation in its entirety is false, unfounded and another campaign of calumny designed to divert attention from the probe of the former PDP administration in the state.
“We make bold to state categorically that the government of Imo State under His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha never obtained N40billion loan nor misappropriated the state funds as alleged. “Instead, the present government has paid up all loans collected by the past administration including the N6.4billion loan by the former governor, Ohakim just two months to 2011 election for which EFCC is yet to investigate.”
“We also wish to state that the government of Imo State will at any time throw its doors wide open for EFCC and other relevant anti-graft agencies as it has nothing whatsoever to hide. However, there was palpable anxiety yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, especially among serving commissioners and top government officials over the arrest and detention of the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Chike Okafor and the Accountant-General, Mr. George Eche, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N40billion loan. Meanwhile, the state Secretary of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Enyinna Onuegbu urged the EFCC to spread its net and arrest every government official indicted by the ongoing investigation, adding that the administration was corrupt.
“The Okorocha government is yet to account for the over N80 billion belonging to the local councils, neither has anything on ground to show for the huge Federal Allocations received for two years of his administration.”