Re: Umahi sets up Commission of Inquiry into N2 billion Agric Loan.

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki
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In a way to entrench accountability and probity in governance, Ebonyi State Governor Chief David Umahi has set up judicial Commission of Inquiry on the disbursement and management of N2 billion commercial Agriculture loan scheme.

Governor Umahi who inaugurated the Commission after a security/COVID 19 committee meeting at the State Executive Council Chambers, Government house, Abakalkki said that the inquiry is to investigate all the funds and support released by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the state.

He disclosed that the Commission was set up to investigate the N2 billion CBN Commercial Agriculture scheme loan which the Former Secretary to the State Government, Prof Bernard Odoh headed.

He noted that other funds that would be investigated by the Commission includes, bailout funds, budget support, infrastructure support and Paris Club refunds to the state.

Governor Umahi urged the committee not to witch-hunt anybody. "Pls do not witch-hunt anybody. This Commission is not to witch-hunt anybody. I urge the panel to call a spade, a spade, so if anybody is afraid of the commission, the person should not be afraid".

He maintained that we would not hesitate to wave his immunity to appear before the commission and give explanation to all the questions that the commission would put across to him and urged anyone invited by the Commission not to be afraid to appear before the committee.

"If you invite me, I will remove my immunity and appear before the commission and I will appear before the commission and explain things. This committee is very important to me because it will package all the transaction we made".

"If anybody wants us to give him the document, we will just dust it and make it available to the person. You are not probing anybody but it is me you are probing because i gave approval to all the releases. We are not probing anybody all the money we have collected must be investigated".

"Am not in any querrell with my former Secretary to State Government, Prof Bernard Odoh. He remains my brother and friend. Pls people should stop castigating him and people should stop writing anything negative against him".

Meanwhile, in a petition dated 26th of May 2020 addressed to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC, the former Secretary to the State Government, Prof Bernard Odoh accused Governor Umahi of setting up a biased Commission of Inquiry made up of his appointees and cronies to cover up the funds which might have been embezzled by Governor David Umahi and the officials of his administration.

He said that the move of Governor is a direct affront on the fight against corruption as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari and called for urgent commencement of a thorough investigation of members of Ebonyi State Executive Council Committee on the N2 Billion CBN Agriculture loan fund including myself.