The judicial commission of enquiry into contracts awarded in Imo State between 2006 and 2019, Monday, revealed that over N106 billion was misappropriated. The panel also recommended the refund of the sum by the culprits.
This was disclosed by the committee while submitting its report to Gov Hope Uzodimma at the Executive Chambers, Government House, Owerri. According to the chairman of the committee, Justice Benjamin Iheaka, ‘there were monumental frauds orchestrated by the contractors in the period under review’, alleging strong connivance of some civil servants in over-pricing of contract values. He further explained that there was no observance of the principles of the Bureau for Public Procurement Act in the contract exercises, leading to ‘outrageous contract pricing and payments for non-performing contracts’ amounting to the sum of N106bn.
He said, “Among the findings include high-tech contract scams, the helplessness of some civil servants in compromising, aiding and abetting crimes on the cover of ‘obedience to my superior’; outrageous inflation of contract prices; unprofessional supervision of execution of contracts awarded; unexecuted contracts fully paid and many more infractions.”
Governor Uzodimma, while receiving the report, promised that anybody or company found culpable would be made to refund whatever was misappropriated. He added that his administration would soon inaugurate a review committee to examine the report with a view to implementing the recommendations.
Present at the submission were the chief of staff, Imo Government House, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie; members of the state executive council, as well as members of the committee.
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