Gov. Umahi
Gov. Umahi

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, has vowed to wave immunity aside if invited to testify before the 7-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the disbursement of Agricultural Credit Scheme for 2016 farming season and other expenditures of the state government.

Umahi on Thursday set up the 7-man Judiciary Committee to look into the expenditures of the Agric Loan which was released by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the time Prof. Ifeanyichukwu Odoh, was the Secretary to Ebonyi state government.

During the Inauguration which took place at the Executive Council Chambers Government House, Abakaliki, the governor charged them to carry out their duties without fear or favor and with every sense of transparency.

The commission would be chaired by Justice Chris Eze while other members include the Vice Chairman of Ebonyi State Traditional Rulers Council Chief Romania Iyioku, Rev. Onyeuwaoma Onyeka and Mr. Egenti Okwuegbu.

Their terms of reference include investigation of the support that has so far accrued to the state, and to investigate all foreign loans obtained by the state and evaluate all the approvals.

“I will waive my immunity to appear before the commission of Inquiry if I am invited, all these things must be investigated.

“People started writing on social media of witch-hunt that is not a possibility at all. The way I was brought up, I was brought up not to witch-hunt anybody, not to write petition against anybody.

“I frown too much when people write petition against their brothers to EFCC, it’s a very terrible thing to do, I wasn’t brought up in that manner.

“But the CBN had sent people to come and investigate all the money they gave to us, and I have met with the Accountant General.

“Now what we want to do is very simple, we want to expand the scope, I want the commission to investigate all the support given to Ebonyi state and local government, all the agric loans from 2015.

“They are to investigate all the approvals that were made; they have to get the people that made use of it, and what they did with it.

“And again, all foreign loans must be investigated, and we have not collected any foreign loan. The only loan we may collect as foreign loan will be the ring road loan. And some people criticizing the loan should know that the road is not passing through my local government, it passes through their houses.

”And so for the sake of public hearing, get the entire stakeholders sit hear and discuss whether we go ahead with the project or not.

But we fought so much to have these projects realized and it is 199 kilometers across 8 LGAs’ of the North and central.

“As at today, the total balance of our foreign loan is 65 million US dollars, and I will tell you what the entire money is all about. The loan was not collected in my administration, some of them started during Dr Sam Egwu’s time. And they are programs for HIV, under WHO in fact, over 40%of them are WHO program, of course it’s been monitored and supervised by WHO itself” he stated.

He charged the judicial committee to also investigate all Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), all bailout funds, all Budget support and Paris Club Refunds, among others.

“Now you are also to investigate all domestic loans, and the domestic loans are the SMEs, the bailout funds, state and local governments, the budget support, the infrastructure funds that was paid to the state, and the Paris fund refunds.

”In my own understanding, I have asked the Accountant General to tidy up all the Paris club bailouts, they have all been forwarded to the state house of Assembly. But I want to do it under the commission of enquiry.

“So all the GSM will be investigated and the findings be forwarded to the House of Assembly and they will all be sent to the Fiscal Responsibility Service Commission and of course to Exco,” he added.

In his presentation, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Cletus Ofoke, reiterated that setting up of the Commission was borne out of the petition written by farmers and other stakeholders on 2016 agricultural loan scheme.

Previous articleEbonyi APC Doles Out Palliatives to Destitutes, Artisans
Next articleInternational Market: Lot 1 Traders, Others Lament High Taxation


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here