Otti freezes Abia State accounts, dissolves boards amid EFCC probe

ABIA State governor Alex Otti has frozen all bank accounts belonging to the government and its agencies.

He also dissolved all boards of agencies and parastatals of the state government, with immediate effect.

Otti’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Ferdinand Ekeoma disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, May 30.


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“The Governor, in a statement issued by his media office on Monday, May 29, 2023, said with the notice, all banks and other financial institutions in the country are directed to immediately desist from honouring any cheque, document, instrument or directive of any kind not expressly approved by or emanating from him.

“Similarly, Governor Otti has directed the immediate dissolution of all boards of Abia State Government agencies and parastatals and subsequently ordered the chief executives of these organisations to hand over to those next in line to them,” the statement said.

Otti had accused the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration led by Okezie Ikpeazu of looting properties belonging to the state while he was Governor-elect.

He alleged that vehicles and other equipment purchased with public funds were being removed from the Aba General Hospital, School of Health Technology Aba, Abia State Universal Basic Education Board, School of Nursing Amachara, and Abia State Government Umuahia, among other organisations.

Describing the actions as callous and insensitive, he urged Ikpeazu to pay attention to the allegations.

However, the former governor denied the allegations, describing them as senseless.

Earlier, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had begun a probe on the utilisation of local government funds by Abia State officials.






     

     

    The EFCC invited affected the concerned officials to report for questioning at the Chairman’s Monitoring Unit (CMU).

    The officers invited for questioning include treasurers and Heads of Service in the 17 local government councils.

    However, the Ikpeazu-led government, through Abia state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice Uche Ihediwa, pleaded with the EFCC to delay investigations.

    Ihediwa explained that the invited officials were all involved in the preparations to transit to a new government and may be too occupied to honour the invitation.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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