Nigeria: Ikpeazu Reacts to Allegation of Diverting N10 Billion for Airport Undertaking in Abia

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Mr Otti, throughout his current journey to the US, accused Mr Ikpeazu of allocating N10 billion to a non-existent airport mission in Abia State, an allegation the previous governor denied.

The fast previous governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has reacted to an allegation that his administration diverted N10 billion earmarked for an airport mission within the state.

Mr Ikpeazu served as a two-term governor of the state below the PDP platform between 29 Could 2015 and 29 Could 2023, when he handed over to the incumbent governor of the state, Alex Otti.

Mr Otti was elected as governor of the state on 22 March 2023 below the Labour Occasion ticket.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that Mr Otti, in April, accused the previous governor of allocating N10 billion to a non-existent airport mission within the state, an allegation which the previous denied.

The governor, on Thursday, additional accused the previous governor of transferring the N10 billion to 32 financial institution accounts of various firms from the place they had been diverted.

He additionally claimed that Mr Ikpeazu had already transferred the funds to the financial institution accounts lengthy earlier than he approached the state meeting for approval.

He claimed he obtained the data from a report of a forensic audit carried out by a agency contracted by his administration.

Ikpeazu’s defence

Mr Ikpeazu, by an announcement by his former Commissioner for Data, John Kalu, and forwarded to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, denied the most recent allegation.

Mr Kalu stated the 32 accounts talked about by the governor belonged to contractors who had been paid from the N10 billion for street development tasks after the suspension of the airport mission.

“It’s also essential to notice that the transaction he’s speaking about is a contractor finance association with UBA Plc for N10 billion which was not disbursed to the contractors till November twenty sixth 2020. Not funds taken immediately from our state’s account as he maliciously conveys,” he stated.

The previous commissioner additionally responded to the allegation of Mr Ikpeazu approaching the State Meeting after the cash had been moved.

“His allegation of getting Home of Meeting approval late is neither right here nor there as a result of the financial institution provisioned the ability, positioned a lien on withdrawal till all related paperwork had been obtained and submitted to them. That observe is just not unusual in public finance and naturally, no financial institution will assist you to draw on a facility with out submitting all related paperwork,” he said.