Imo State government has denied the detention of the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Deacon Chike Okafor and Accountant General of the State, Mr. George Eche, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chinedu Offor, the government said it never obtained N40 billion loan from Zenith Bank and therefore there was no basis to arrest its commissioners. The statement said that instead of taking loan from bank, the Okorocha administration has paid up loan obtained by his predecessor, including N6.5 billion loan the former governor; Chief Ikedi Ohakim took a few days to the 2011 governorship election.
It said that the Imo State government was ready to open its books for scrutiny any time. The statement said: “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 N40 billion loan from Zenith Bank on behalf of the state government.
“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 N45billion loan nor misappropriated the state funds as alleged. “Instead, the present government has paid up all loans collected by the past administration, including the N6.4 billion loan by the former Gov. Ikedi 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. We are deeply shocked that former Gov. Ohakim who only executed 3 uncompleted projects in the state is yet to be arrested by the EFCC.