Gov.Otti inaugurates judicial panel of inquiry on recovery of public assets

2023-06-27 20:22:00

Champion Newspapers Limited

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti has inaugurated a five man Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the Recovery of public assets, explaining that the panel became necessary by myriads of complaints from the public about looting of government property by some individuals.

Speaking while inaugurating the panel at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Umuahia,he said his administration has also experienced unbridled looting and misuse of government properties and resources as well as have been experiencing difficulties in accessing government properties which would usually be available to continue with the business of governance.

Continuing,he revealed that so many MDAs find it very difficult to perform their day to day duties,adding that even public schools were not spared as part of their lands have been converted to private use.

According to him," Let me reveal that this administration experienced a very hostile handover situation which made it very difficult for us to hit the ground running on the 29th of May,as we had anticipated.

" We therefore assumed office blindly and had to start practically from below ground zero.We are now discovering that the reason for the lack of cooperation might have arisen from widespread mischief by some of those who were given custody of our collective assets and welfare.

" It is for the foregoing reasons that we came to the conclusion that it would amount to being insensitive and reckless and encouraging bad behaviour,if our administration did not listen to the yearnings of those who elected us,by looking into their complaints" he said

The panel with Hon.Justice Ikwuoma Duruoha-Igwe(rtd) as chairman,has terms of reference as follows,"To receive and examine complaints and memoranda from individuals and corporate entities on the looting and or conversion of Government properties,Funds and related matters and where necessary make recommendations to the government for remedial measures or any other measures as appropriate.

" Examine and ascertain whether government moveable and immovable assets and funds or part of it have been illegally acquired/occupied/converted to private use and identify the persons responsible and further make recommendations for recovery and appropriate sanctions.

" Ascertain the extent of allocation and revocation of land in Abia state from May 2015 -May 2023 and determine the propriety of such allocation and revocation"

Others are," Review the award and execution of contracts from May 2015 to May 2023 and ascertain if they were in conformity with extant laws .

" To investigate any other matter incidental or related to the foregoing terms of reference and make recommendations to the government based on their findings" he said.

He charged them to live up to the high expectations of the people as they contribute to the huge task of rebuilding Abia state for the benefit of all well-meaning Abia citizens and residents while appealing to the general public to support the panel with any information at their disposal that would help in the recovery of "our looted Commonwealth"

Responding on behalf of other members of the panel, the Chairman, Hon Justice Ikwuoma Duruoha-Igwe (rtd.) pledged that they would discharge their duties as quickly as possible to enable Abia State to move ahead. She said they would not carry on as if they have already targeted and branded anybody as guilty but however made public that they shall lay open their findings and make credible recommendations to the Governor and urged all persons with helpful information, memoranda and petitions to approach the panel so that justice shall prevail in the State. She thanked the Governor for the opportunity to serve and pledged not to disappoint the people in the execution of their duties.

Other members of the panel are: Prof. Ogwo Ekeoma Ogwo, Prof. Ursula Ngozi Akanwa, Mazi Ugochukwu Okoroafor and Rev. Father Barr Alex Okonkwo.

2023-06-27 News