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Anti-Corruption Group Hits Streets Over Fraud In Imo Speaker's Office

By Chinwe Nweke
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A group Youths Against Human Rights Violations and Corrupt Practices [YAHVCP] has decried the whooping tax- payers money allegedly looted by the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly Chief Benjamin Uwajumogu and has revealed its plans to flag off a peaceful demonstration in Owerri the capital city of Imo State on 17th of March 2014 tagged '' Benjamin Uwajumogu Must Go'' to press home demands for a panel to be constituted to investigate the corruption allegations levelled against the Speaker.

The group also pointed out that it has commenced the printing of thousands of flyers that will be distributed in Owerri urging the people of Imo State to come out on that day to make their representatives in the House of Assembly aware of concerns regarding fraud in the House.

The Group made this known in a press statement issued in Owerri by its National Coordinator, Mr Kenneth Uwadi and made available to newsmen. According to YAHVCP, Chief Uwajumogu has several explanations to offer the people of Imo State over the petition forwarded to the EFCC by his former media aide Ikenna Samulson Iwuoha.

The petition disclosed how fraudulent contracts for road projects worth billions of naira were awarded by the Speaker without due process and how the Speaker used the proceeds of the crime to acquire several properties in Nigeria and abroad whereas the same state is in dire need of infrastructures and is facing serious youths unemployment issues.

YAHVCP fingered out properties acquired by the Speaker from his loot such as:

• N500 million naira Asphalt plant along Onitsha road Owerri

• 15 mansions along Chief Ben Uwajumogu Street, Federal Housing Estate Umuguma Owerri – West LGA

• JASMINE Hotels and Suites behind Imo Concorde Hotel valued at over N70 million

• Over 200 plots of land located in Owerri West LGA

• N400million naira Mansion at Ihitte /Uboma

• 2 other mansions at Ihitte/Uboma

• Mansions in Aba and Umuahia

• N760 million naira Crush Rock Industry in Ebonyi State

• N500 million naira private hotel in Abuja

• N750 million naira private hotel in Lagos

• Converting the Imo State Liaison Office Abuja into his personal property

• Properties acquired abroad using his sister as front.

The group also distanced itself from the insinuations that a political chieftain from Okigwe zone is its sponsor and called on those parading the rumour to stop chasing shadows adding that the call for the Speakers probe is based on the fact that the group shares the anguish and anger of Imolites against this kind of capitalist looting.

“We cannot fold our hands and see the youths in Imo State unemployed after graduation from Universities just because some public office holders in the State choose to make them perpetually poor by looting the State dry. They should all bury their heads in shame if they think that by cursing and insulting us they will get us to stop talking. Chief Uwajumogu can't explain to Imolites that he did not award road contracts to himself for we have documents to prove that he did so he desperately cast aspersions on us . He can't give a straightforward explanation for the source of his wealth so he had to call us paupers, never do wells and nonentities" Uwadi said.

“By calling us poor people and never do well's , the Speaker has revealed to Imo people that he has nothing but contempt for anybody who works for a living. The harder you work for a living, the more contemptible you seem to him. To him any one who therefore don't have his ill gotten riches is pathetic. To him anybody who acquires wealth through shady means, or who is a wizard in the art of stealing and lying, is to be celebrated as heroic, virtuous, and worthy of praise'' Uwadi concluded