A member representing Aba South Constituency in Abia State House of Assembly, Obinna Ichita, has formally written the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, demanding details of how the N27.4 billion World Bank loan for road rehabilitation in Aba was spent.
Ichita in a two-paged letter through his lawyer, Mr Aloy Ejimakor, requested the governor under the Freedom of Information Act, to immediately furnish him with accounting details of how the state government disbursed the funds.
The letter made available to our correspondent read in part, “We are solicitors to Honourable Obinna Martins Ichita, a principal officer of the Abia State House of Assembly, representing Aba South State Constituency (hereinafter referred to as our client).
“We write this letter on the firm instructions of our said client to request Your Excellency to furnish us the following information within the deadline set by applicable law:
“The accounting details of how the Government of Abia State spent the N27.4 billion (or the equivalent sum in dollar) which the government of Abia State had received in full from the World Bank for road construction and erosion control projects in Aba, specifically Port Harcourt Road, Uratta Road, Obohia Road, Ohanku Road and Ngwa Road.
“The name and business address(es) of the Contractor(s) that executed any of the projects mentioned in the preceding paragraph; and copies of the contract awards documents.
“The cost of the execution of each project.”
The letter further read, “Your Excellency will recall that you had informed the people of Aba via a live radio program on the 29th May, 2020 that the Government of Abia State had received the said money in full and it was also reported in the National Dailies, including
“On 7th March, 2021 during the 2021 Convention and the 20 million Naira _ Visual Studio Fund lunch of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Aba Presbyter at St. Andrews Parish, No.1 Azikiwe Road, Aba, Your Excellency, again, publicly acknowledged the receipt of the said money in full by Abia State from the World Bank.
“Your Excellency, it is pertinent to state that this request for information is made pursuant to the provisions of Freedom of Information Act, which requires compliance within strict deadlines.We therefore await Your Excellency’s timely response.”
Addressing newsmen later on the matter, the lawmaker said he decided to demand accountability on how the funds were spent because the projects for which the money was meant were still in deplorable condition.
He said that his constituents who were directly affected by the bad condition of the roads needed to know how such a largesse fund was spent.
The lawmaker noted that public office holders should not forget that they only hold public offices in trust for the people, and should not shy away from rendering accounts of their stewardship.
Ichita said that the law would take its full course on the governor should he fail to comply with his requests within the stipulated time.