HomePoliticsHow Ikpeazu Moved ₦10bn Airport Funds Into 32 Accounts - Otti

How Ikpeazu Moved ₦10bn Airport Funds Into 32 Accounts – Otti

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The Governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti has asserted that he will soon make public the forensic audit report which indicted his predecessor, Okezie Ikpeazu, of diverting billions of state funds meant for projects to individual company accounts.

He also revealed that the immediate past administration transferred the ₦10 billion airport funds into 32 different company accounts from where it was shared, adding that the money had already been transferred out of the state government account before they approached the Abia State House of Assembly for approval.

The governor was offering more clarification on the auditing during his monthly media chat, tagged “Governor Alex Otti Speaks to Abians” held at Government House Umuahia yesterday.

While noting that the denial of the former governor was not unexpected, Otti pointed out that it was reported in the media, that instead of denying spending the fund, they then claimed that they used it for road construction which is against the evidence available.

Read Also: Audit: How We Spent ₦10bn Airport Fund, Ikpeazu Opens Up

According to the governor, the management of the company (FEROTEX Construction Company) has admitted that the company never applied to be awarded the aborted airport project under the past administration

He maintained, however, that when the report would eventually be published, the rest of the work would be handled by security agencies, insisting also that his interest is for the money to be refunded rather than taking anyone to jail.

“The immediate past governor’s denial is not unexpected. When it was announced, they went to the media abusing the government and saying that the government lied.

“It is a report by KPMG which says that they diverted the money into roads. In the bank statement on the 26th of September 2020 when people were dealing with COVID-19, a debit went into the state account for N10 billion and it was payment for an 80 per cent contract of the Abia airport.

“It’s true and incontrovertible. The statement is there, the report is there. By the way, the report will be published very soon.

“But I can assure you that as reported by the media, it’s KPMG that did the forensic audit.

“So, clearly something went wrong. Our engagement with the company that received the money gives the impression that the company was deceived. The Managing Director of the company said that he told them that he had never built an airport before and that it is not his area of competence neither did he apply to them to construct an airport.“

The governor equally stated that his government was not bordered over the defections in droves by PDP members to APC in the state.

He said those that should be worried were the remnants of the PDP, affirming that both members of the PDP and other political parties are joining him in the Labour Party.

“Our government is the government of the people. What is important for us is to give good governance and that is what we are doing,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the governor said he is not worried about the mass defection of members of the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress in the state.

He noted that he was more concerned with delivering governance to Abia than the movement of the PDP members to APC.

Otti further likened political parties to churches which anyone was free to join as they like, adding that it was the Abia PDP that should worried that their members were leaving them.

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