News Investigators/ A non-profit organization, Sincere Concern Organisation, has vowed to take action against former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, if he fails to refund N130 billion allegedly embezzled government money within the next one month.
The group called on Mr. Okorocha to comply with the directives of the panel of inquiry to refund the alleged loots or face legal action.
The group further asked the former governor to return landed property allegedly stolen while in office as governor, saying Mr. Okorocha is still in possession of several assets, including Shell Camp land and other estates.
The Director-General of the body, Foluke Lemechi, who spoke at a news briefing in Owerri urged governor Hope Uzodimma to take steps to recover the money and property.
Mrs. Lemechi, represented by Destiny Nzenwa, said the Commission of Inquiry instituted by former governor Emeka Ihedioha did not complete its mandate when Mr. Uzodimma emerged as governor.
She noted that “in spite of pressures, Mr. Uzodimma has refused to disband the panel of inquiry, which has led to the face-off with Mr. Okorocha.
“Expectedly, the report of the panel and White paper indicted Okorocha and his family and they were ordered to return the looted estates to Imo people.
“Justice Iheka panel on award of contracts specifically ordered Okorocha to refund N130 billion.
“The government was also empowered to recover the assets it stole,” the group said.
“We are here to express our displeasure with the State Government for its failure to fully implement the recommendation of the White paper, especially in the recovery of the humungous amount of money looted by Okorocha.
“Consequently, we are giving the Government of Uzodimma a one-month ultimatum to take immediate steps to implement fully the White paper on recovery of stolen property, especially the more than N130 billion being held by Okorocha.
“If after the expiration of the ultimatum, Okorocha has not returned the money or he is not in jail, we shall take all lawful steps to ensure that justice is served.
“This is to ensure that would-be public office holders would not think that it is a norm to steal from the public purse and go scot-free,” the group also said.
However, Mr. Okorocha, in a swift reaction, has dismissed the allegation as “shadow chasing”.
His former Media Aide, Sam Onwuemedo, told newsmen that a Court had ruled on the matter and declared Okorocha innocent of all the allegations leveled against him.
“This is a story they have continued to tell over and over again, which nobody is interested in.
“What the group should do is to support Okorocha to meet with Gov. Uzodimma and the Federal Government to see how the insecurity, the greatest thing worrying the people of the state, can end,” Mr. Onwuemedo said.