The Imo State government and the former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha have started a fresh fight over tiles and other properties of the state allegedly looted by Okorocha.
The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem, on Thursday revealed how equipment allegedly belonging to Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry were found in a warehouse hidden by Okorocha.
The commissioner said that the 55-foot by 200-foot facility was stacked with various public owned facilities.
Egbegbulem accused the former governor of looting the equipment from Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, which is the location of the industry, to his private warehouse in a bid to use the equipment and start a personal industry.
“Reliable information we have gathered from those guarding the warehouse indicated that sometimes, they (Okorocha’s people) do come here to pick some items to sell.
“However, some of the equipment we are looking for are here and we have come to take possession of the Imo properties and anybody we see here will blame himself. We have taken over the government properties for the good of Imolites based on their demands.
“We also found street lights components, traffic light accessories and artificial tree plants in the large warehouse owned by Okorocha. Also, a moulder from the Nsu Tiles and Ceramics and other components were discovered to be in the warehouse; and now, we have taken over,” Egbegbulem said.
But in his response on Thursday, Okorocha denied the allegation and challenged the state government to go beyond mere allegation and show proof that the equipment allegedly recovered in the said warehouse located along Owerri-Aba road belonged to the state government.
In a statement by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said:
“The government should disclose or publish the proof of ownership of all they claimed they recovered. All these cock and bull stories have become irritating. If Governor Uzodinma was not demolishing Okorocha’s projects, he was invading warehouses in his government’s desperation to malign Okorocha.
“If after eight years of being governor, what the government could claim to have been looted by Okorocha were street light gadgets and cartons of tiles, then those who invaded the warehouse should cover their faces in shame.”
Since Okorocha’s tenure as governor ended in 2019, the Imo State government has often claimed to have discovered different state property allegedly looted by the former governor.