Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha, are at loggerheads over some recovered items said to be property of the state government stashed away in a warehouse belonging to the former governor.
Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Simeon Ibegbulem, was said to have stumbled on the warehouse located along Aba-Owerri based on information provided by members of the public and discovered equipment of Nsu ceramic and tiles industry established by the then administration of Sam Mbakwe, in a warehouse owned by Okorocha, along Owerri/ Aba road in the state.
The commissioner told newsmen that the equipments were transferred from Ehime Mbano Local government to the private warehouse in order to establish a personal industry by the Okorochas.
Ibegbulem was also reported to have said that the 55 feet by 200 length warehouse is adjacent to a warehouse where the then Emeka Ihedioha administration had discovered some of the public properties said to be owned by the state
But reacting to the development, Okorocha chided his successor for what he described as lack lustre and shadow chasing of his (Uzodimma’s) administration.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser (media) Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said instead of concentrating on good governance, Uzodimma is busy chasing shadows.
Okorocha said that it was beyond imagination how he could hide something along the ever busy Aba-Owerri road without the prying eyes of the members of the public.
The former governor, who is now the senator representing Owerri West, said that after the incident at Orlu during the burial of archbishop Emeritus Gregory Ochiagha, where he (Okorocha) received a standing ovation, Uzodimma has become desperate to hang him.
The statement said, “This is to inform the general public, that, as early as 6:15am today, being Thursday, January 21, 2021, Seven Hilux Vans loaded with heavily armed Police men, invaded a Warehouse along Aba road, opposite Alaba International Market, on the orders of the governor of the State, Chief Hope Uzodimma.
“We have also read what the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Simeon Ibegbulem said were recovered from the Warehouse. It was interesting to read that what the Commissioner said they recovered from the warehouse were street lights accessories and cartons of tiles and without his disclosing how he arrived at the conclusion that those items were owned by the government.
“The government should disclose or publish the proof of ownership of all they claimed they had recovered. All these cock and bull stories have become irritating. If Governor Uzodimma was not demolishing Okorocha’s projects, he was invading warehouses in his government’s desperation to malign Okorocha.
And the question is how all these would help governor Uzodimma in the governance of the State. We have been reluctant to use the word clueless, but the government’s actions and inactions have given reasons to be described as such.
“And if Okorocha wanted to hide any item, could he have done so at a Warehouse along the busy Aba road and opposite one of the biggest markets in Owerri, the Alaba International Market? And if after 8 years of being governor, what the government could claim to have been looted by Okorocha were street light gadgets and cartons of ties then, those who invaded the warehouse should cover their faces in shame.
“It should also be recalled that the Hon. Jasper Ndubuaku-led Recovery Committee had long before now, invaded the same Warehouse also on the claim that it was recovering government’s properties, which ended as hoax.
We want to also call on the Police Command to investigate those in Police uniforms, who invaded the warehouse, to find out whether they were really Nigerian Police, since it was not expected that Police men would have gone for the invasion of the warehouse, without a valid Court Order.
He called on the police to investigate the matter properly.