HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY GOES AFTER #1.8BN IMO CONTRACTORS FUND SEIZED BY EFCC
•AS EGWIM’S MOTION SCALES THROUGH
Moves seeking for urgent release of the sum of #1.8bn Imo State fund, seized by the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission, EFCC, during the Rescue Mission administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha in Imo are underway, following the recent steps made by the State Legislature.
The anti graft agency, had during the exit of Rochas Okorocha’s era in the State in 2019, seized about #7.9bn of Imo State money with the Access Bank PLC.
The money was said to be mapped out for the payment of Government Contractors.
However, during the Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha eight months stay as the Governor, part of the money was said to be released to the State for the payment of Salaries and Pensions of Imo workers and Pensions, leaving a balance of #1.8bn, reserved for the payment of the bona-fide Contractors that worked for the State.
Fortunately, the debate was tabled before the House of Assembly, in its plenary session of Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
In a motion moved by the member representing Ideato North State Constituency, Hon. Barr. Innocent Arthur Egwim, the House led by Speaker Chiji Collins resolved to urge the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma to appeal to EFCC to completely unfreeze the State Accounts with the Access Bank.
The Resolution also urged the Governor to order for the immediate release of the balance of #1.8bn to enable the State pay the Contractors, to rest the case and also prevent further distractions of the Government over the matter.
In the prayers of the motion, Hon. Egwim said, “Whereas EFCC in its investigations at the terminal end of Rochas Okorocha’s administration in 2019, froze the Imo State Government’s Account with the Access Bank PLC, containing the sum of about #7.9bn;
“Aware that the Commission, at ascendancy of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the Governor of Imo State, granted approval for the release of part of the money for payment of salaries and pensions of Imo workers and pensioners, leaving a balance of #1.8bn reserved for payment of the bona-fide contractors that worked for the State;
He observed thus, “That those genuine Contractors are yet to be paid their contract fees for which the sum of #1.8bn was reserved, and the Contractors through their umbrella association, United Progressive Imo State Contractors Association (UPICA) have been disturbing and distracting the State Government for non payment of other deserving Contract fees;
“Believing that Government is a continuum and the State Government is under obligation to settle the Contractors, pursuant to the terms of the contract agreements signed by both parties”.
Hon. Egwim therefore added that in this precarious situation, that money if released would go a long way in offsetting the debts, especially as the said Contractors are not outsiders, but full indigenes of the State.
The Motion was seconded by Hon Johnson Iheonukara Duru, and supported by Hon Chigozie Nwaneri and others.
IMO LAWMAKERS REVOLT OVER SLASHED SALARIES
•VOW TO MOVE AGAINST SPEAKER
There is unease moments at the Imo State House of Assembly, over an alleged slash of Lawmakers Salaries and other entitlements.
Recall that Trumpeta Newspaper had reported last week of the Governor, Hope Uzodinma’s Government resolve to cut down on the Lawmakers salaries.
But that move seems to be affecting only the Members in the opposition Political Party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Grapevine sources have it that after a meeting Governor Uzodinma had with the twenty-one APC members, salaries and allowances of the Minority caucus were reportedly slashed.
Although the percentage of the slash is yet to be ascertained and made public, but Six of the PDP Members constituting the Minority are said to have received their October salaries, shortchanged.
This development, Trumpeta gathered was not accepted by the Legislators as they plan a shutdown.
However, distasteful occurrence that followed the move was the setting up of in-house Committee to look into the Accounts of the Legislators.
While the said Committee is made up of only those in the Majority, no-one from the Minority was considered to be part of the Committee.
The action, they believed was premeditated to either suffer the opposition in the House or force them to join the APC.
Some of the affected Lawmakers who spoke under strict anonymity vowed to resist such attempt, adding that as elected Legislators, nobody is entitled to earn anything higher than other, unless on events of Leadership hierarchy.
They promised to expose a lot of heinous activities of the House and the Executive if the perceived hatred and segregation is not revisited to favor all.
“We are all equal. It does not matter under what Party platform you are elected into the House. But disparity can come if you are a Principal Officer”, Trumpeta was told.
MICHAEL CROWN DEDICATES CHILD, NOV 8
It is a season of bountiful harvest and thanksgiving for the member representing Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area, in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Michael Onyemaechi Njoku, as he will be dedicating his son, Master Ofornna Malvin-Crown Njoku on Sunday November 8, 2020.
The holy mass will hold at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Umuderim, Ihitte/ Uboma LGA, by 10am.
Another top celebration in the Council Area will be the Grand Reception of “Michael Crown” as the House member, by his Umuderim community, led by His Royal Highness, Eze V.S.O Okafor, Erim 1 of Umuderim, the Eze in Council, Development Union, and people of the entire autonomous community.
As part of his effort towards ensuring a strong representation, Hon Michael Crown will be commissioning an Ultra Modern Market Square single-handedly built and donated by him for the good use of his constituents.
According to the information obtained from the host, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Leadership and Members of the 9th House, Government House top functionaries, Religious Leaders will be Special guests to grace the heartwarming ceremony.
Reception follows at his residence.
In a related development, aside from Lawmaking, Hon Michael Njoku is not lacking in constituency representation and projects execution.
It would be recalled that the Ihitte/Uboma representative through his relentless efforts has attracted some good tidings for his constituency while promised to do more.
NGOZI OBIEFULE MOURNS, BIDS YOUNGER SISTER FAREWELL TODAY
The ever smiling Member representing Isu State constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mrs. Ngozi Obiefule is in a mournful mood.
Barely one year she said “Goodbye” to her husband, she is at it again with her blood sister, Lady Dr. Mrs. Enyimba J. Nwamaka (LSM), Nee Nwukor, who will be laid to rest today, November 5, 2020.
She aged 51.
According to the information obtained by this Newspaper, Late Lady Nwamaka will be buried in her husband’s compound at Umuohi, Okija, in Anambra State, after a requiem mass at St John’s Catholic Church, Okija, by 10:30am.
While family, friends and associates condole with the Female Lawmaker over the huge loss, we in Trumpeta say, take heart, “Chimbute-uzo”.
SPEAKER LOCKS OUT COLLEAGUES, ADJOURNS WITH ONLY ONE LAWMAKER
It was a tinge of mild drama yesterday, at the Imo State House of Assembly complex, as the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins adjourned sitting with only one Lawmaker.
Unlike the Speaker, who always enter the chambers with his colleagues from 2pm every sitting day, that of yesterday was a contrary.
To the Members, before they could alight from their vehicles, Speaker, in company of another member from Orlu zone had already entered and adjourned sitting for not forming quorum.
Before his official convoy could arrive the parking lot, he had already discharged and drove off.
This didn’t go down well with others who came prepared for daily Legislative business, as they dispatched murmuring.