A former governor of Ebonyi, Martin Elechi, said he was ready for probe by his successor, Governor David Umahi, alleging that he had been under investigation since 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Mr. Umahi had on Saturday in Abakaliki, threatened to probe the Elechi administration of 2007 – 2015, for “massive financial malpractices”.
Mr. Umahi had stated that he had covered his predecessors ‘sins’ enough and would publish the details of the probe in newspapers and other media channels.
He accused his former boss, who he served as deputy governor, for failing to pay past leaders, including the Minster of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, their pensions and severance allowances.
The governed faulted Mr. Elechi for ‘crying’ over non-payment of his pensions “when he failed to pay pensioners in the state since 2009.
But Mr. Elechi told journalists in Abakaliki on Thursday that the governor had been probing him and his two sons since 2015.
“I handed over to Umahi on May 29, 2015, participated in his thanksgiving service on June 7, 2015, but received a letter of summon from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 9, 2015.
“The petitions, which EFCC sources said were more than 50, were written by the present Ebonyi government through the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
“We visited the anti-graft agency regularly since and the last time I visited there in May 2016, I was shown a letter from the Attorney- General where I was accused of several financial malpractices,” he said.
Mr. Elechi said that the petitioners’ allegations against him included his government’s involvement in the establishment of the state cement, oil and gas, rice production companies, among others.
“I gave my own side of the story and presented copies of the same petition which the attorney-general issued me in November, 2015 over the same alleged offences.
“It is then clear that Umahi must not be saying that he will probe me but say that he will continue from where he stopped with the probe since 2015.
“When I rejected the car offer Umahi made to me over these issues, he denied that his government had hands in the probe and I consider this statement as a lie.
“There is no way Umahi will not be aware of a probe instituted by the Attorney-General of his government.
“One of my sons is currently facing a court trial instituted by Umahi’s government.
“I am not running away from Umahi’s probe. I have survived five different probes when Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s administration was toppled, having served in the East-Central state administration.
“I faced two judicial and three administrative boards of inquiry, was arrested three times by the police and had two suits filed against me at the Enugu High Court, all within that period.
“All these fizzled because I was not found culpable and there was no way I would be afraid of probe presently, especially when it was ongoing,” he said.
The former governor noted that his government earmarked N10 million monthly to offset pensions all through his administration and the public could verify from the office of the state Accountant-General.
“The circular over the payment entitlement of past leaders was issued by the Federal Government and Onu’s own payment was supposed to be made by the Abia government, as the governor of the old Abia.
“Umahi has the right to feel bad that I failed to support him to succeed me, but I don’t regret my actions and he should not see me as problem of his administration,” he said.