Alleged Corruption against Former Governor, Okorocha.
This letter of indemnity might absolve the former principal secretary of government house Imo State Hon Paschal Obi,but for the former governor, we wait for the outcome.
While the Imo state Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Contracts continues its investigations into contracts awarded between June 2011 and May 2019, there are emerging documents that may hold former Governor Rochas Okorocha solely accountable for the strings of contract infractions under his tenure.
Our correspondent has obtained, from impeccable Government House sources, documents including letters, one of which was written by former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Principal Secretary, Dr. Paschal Obi who is now a federal legislator.
The letter, apparently intended to indemnify the former Principal Secretary and members of the then Government House Taskforce on projects from culpability, was written to Okorocha barely five months into his assumption of office and dated 27th October, 2011.
The letter established a deliberate and mutually agreed violation of ethics, processes and extant laws applicable to contract awards and the expenditure of public funds.
The letter read in part: “I want to bring to the attention of your Excellency, the need for meticulous, strict and disciplined approach, upholding extant rules in the conception, handling and delivery of government projects, programmes and services to the people of Imo state.
“Your Excellency is aware that contracts for which some amounts of money had been spent were not due process compliant. The contract award, procedure and payment as described under Chapter 8, F1(0801) explicitly states and I quote: ‘All expenditure of public monies must be vouched for on the prescribed payment voucher form…”
The letter continued: “However, your Excellency has sole responsibility as to the extent of compliance or otherwise with all the regulatory laws. As a civil servant, I am under obligation to point out the defects in the method being adopted and point to the correct directions.”
Dr. Paschal Obi also listed requirements and procedures for a valid contract. He stressed that all payments must be vouched and all such contracts must be provided for in the budgetary appropriation for the year of payment.
The letter seemingly indicted Okorocha for his non-compliance to due process where it read: “Again your Excellency has stated that you do not want to comply with due process at different fora, because your Excellency does not want to be delayed by due process. In view of the need to absolve the taskforce committee members of any possible liability, that may arise from non-compliance with Procurement Act, Financial Instruction (FI), other extant rules guiding the conduct of government business. Your Excellency, you may wish to approve that the taskforce projects be awarded and paid for outside the aforementioned regulations”.
As indicated in the document, Okorocha supposedly approved the request from his the Principal Secretary, Paschal Obi and his team in the Taskforce Committee to circumvent due process, regulations and extant laws guiding contract awards and expenditure of public funds.