Governor Otti To Make Forensic Audit’s Report Public, Says He Is Not Concerned Over Defections In PDP

...Otti Makes More Revelations on the Missing Abia Airport Fund As He Says All I Want Is Scammed 10b Airport Project

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Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti says he will soon make public the forensic audit report which indicted the administration of former governor Okezie Ikpeazu of diverting billions of state fund meant for projects to individual company accounts.

The goverrnor was offering more clarification on the forensic audit’s report during his monthly media chat, tagged “Governor Alex Otti Speaks to Abians” held at Government House Umuahia.

He said the immediate past administration transferred the ten billion Naira airport funds into 32 different company accounts before 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.

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

According to the governor, the management of the company ( FEROTEX Construction Company) has admitted that the company never applied to be awarded the aborted Abia State Airport Project under the administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.

He maintained however that the 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 that a debit went into the state account for 10 billion Naira and it’s payment for 80 percent 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. On the 13th of October, and that’s almost three weeks after , a letter was written by the then governor to the House of Assembly requesting for approval of 10 billion Naira for the construction of Abia airport. On the 14th of October, one day after , a letter was written to the then governor giving him approval of the 10 billion that he required for the airport.

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

“So the people denying, the question for them is, how come money moved into an account of somebody who has said he neither sent in a bid for an airport nor has he the competence to construct an airport?

“According to him (the Managing Director), the then goverment asked him to move the monies elsewhere. He showed us letters from the then government to move the money in different tranches to 32 companies and that he did on the instruction of the former government. So, like I said, the rest of the work will be done by security agencies but what is important for our government is either that somebody is showing us the airport or somebody is returning our money. That is what is important to us. We are not interested in all the fire works and all the abuse. We are not even interested in anybody going to jail” Gov. Otti stressed.

Governor Alex Otti equally stated that his government is not bordered over the defections in droves by PDP members to APC in Abia state . He said those that should be worried are the remnants in PDP, affirming that both members of the PDP and other political parties are joining him in the Labour Party.

“Political Parties are like Church and their gates are open to all, am not worried about the defections to APC by some politicians but the good thing is that those leaving are not from my Party,those who should be worried are the party they are leaving from,a lot are also joining us and more are on their way”

“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.”