Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Rejoinder: Allegations Of Award Of Contracts Against Imo State House Speaker

Speaker Ben Uwajimogu

By Emeka Ahaneku

(1) It is common knowledge that Houses of Assemblies in Nigeria,IMO HOUSE INCLUSIVE DO NOT HAVE A BUDGET AND  AS SUCH CAN NOT AFFORD TO FUND CONTRACTS .So how can an institution that cannot fund contracts give out road contracts in a State where the works ministry is active .
However, it is unfortunate that some people still do not understand or just don’t want to understand the working of a State legislature. One is baffled when a former media aide who was supposed to be educated on legislative processes parade an advisory letter addressed to a ministry for the sole purpose of informing the ministry of the outcome of oversight performed on a particular project. (The letter even has a bold inscription of HOUSE OVERSIGHT ON IT) as a letter of award of contract by the Speaker. 

For our Education, Oversight is that function of the House that has to do with the scrutiny of Executive branch programmes like the role the House Committee on rural roads played that aided the asphalting of many rural roads in Imo State.
To be able to play this role of Oversight effectively and to make sure that the  funds appropriated  for projects where judiciously used for execution of such projects, they toured all project sites for first hand information  to ascertain the name of contractor handling each project, the length and other facts that  are needed to progress on the job. The house in writing sends the information gathered by the committee to the relevant ministries for advisory purposes. And it is one of such letters that Uwadi and Samuelson is marching on to say the Speaker gave contracts.
(2) Speaker employed 120 workers of which 90 of them were ghost workers.
Was Samuelson Iwuoha indirectly calling himself a ghost worker? The Imo speaker has created  employment for over 400 youths in various enterprises he nurtured even before he  became a legislator and indeed has over 100 aides most of them he pays through his  personal resources in other to give our young men a chance in life. It is only men who are  poor in spirit and resources  will seek to make money through ghost workers, engaging Imo youths is not corruption.
 (3) Uwajumogu abandoned his responsibilities as a Speaker
The truth is that even the worst critic of the Imo State House of Assembly cannot sustain any argument about the fact that the present House of Assembly have added value; visible and demonstrable value to the system they inherited two and half years ago  by supporting his excellencies rescue mission agenda, which required sacrifice, accountability, hard work, dedication and sincerity to execute and fortunately in Imo State, the electorate have had the opportunity to study the legislative arm of government since the return to civil rule hence the difference is clear
A performing legislator is measured on speech, conduct and being grounded on the operations of his environment.  the primary functions of a legislator  are lawmaking  which the present House led by Speaker Uwajumogu has excelled, having passed over 38 life changing laws and over 131 motions in two and half years. Reprensentation which makes them the mouthpiece of their constituents; judging from the seriousness the present lawmakers attach to petitions or complaints from their constituencies and their ability to attract 15 kilometer of rural roads,  new school for every electoral ward, one hospital and various other projects shows they have also done well in this regard, Oversight to check the  executive arm and ensure that appropriation made for the development of the State are deployed for effective service delivery, on this area the House has also done very well.

Performance of a Speaker in the legislative arm does not lie in how far it goes fighting other arms of government, the courage to rain abuses on the Governor or raising empty alarm to make money but of sacrifice and maturity to dialogue with other arms to achieve the desired result for Imo People.
(4) Funding the private businesses and NGO’s (Development Initiative for African Youths and Development Initiative for African Women) owned by his Sister Dr Mrs Chidinma Uwajumogu.

To mention the Speakers Sister Dr Chidinma Uwajumogu is the height of desperation to insult and tarnish peoples image, the pioneer national coordinator of Her Excellency, the wife of the President federal Republic of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan’s pet project ‘’THE WOMEN FOR CHANGE INITIATIVE” is not only a very wealthy woman but has committed her time and resources to helping Nigerian youths and women. we are talking about a woman who has not been able to visit the Imo State House OF Assembly since his brother became the Speaker, A woman who is busy  to  the extent of being ingarged all year long from the beginning of the year for National and international programmes does not need the  Speaker to fund her organizations.

Summary of other allegations by Samuelson Iwuoha and  Kenneth Uwadi include as follows.
*Built a 760 Million naira crush rock industry in Ebonyi State —
*Built an Asphalt factory in Owerri -
*Bought over 200 plots of land in Owerri —
*Bought mansions at Aba, Umuahia and Ihitte –Uboma
*Bought 15 mansions in Owerri —
*Bought 500 million naira private hotel in Abuja—
*Bought 750 million naira private hotel in Lagos

In responding to these allegations, let me note and make it clear that these are very wild and frivolous allegations. I have never seen Samuelson Iwuoha and Kenneth Uwadi propaganda machinery going into this level of overdrive just to drive it home that Uwajumogu is an administrative fraud yet they failed to establish the source of the money used in acquiring these fictitious properties. Maybe because Samuelson Iwuoha having worked with the House of Assembly knows.That that the House of Assembly does not operate the way it’s been presented to the public by him, because all facts and statements of account are there for everybody to see in the accounts department so as professional blackmailers they made their  allegations wild, so wild that it will be difficult for people to ascertain the truth.
They said the Speaker acquired all this properties in two years and failed to.publish the addresses and locations of the various multimillion naira Hotels and mansions, it will be expected that a 750 million naira hotel anywhere in Nigeria even in pricey Victoria island and Abuja will not be hidden, and should have a prominent address, at least the photographs would have assisted them to prove this obnoxious allegation, same with the crush rock factory and the 200 plots of land in Owerri located at only in an area of their imagination.
While Urging Imolites and Nigerians at large to openly condemn these act of impunity and blackmail designed to tarnish, misrepresent and get back at the speaker for allowing the assembly suspend him (Samuelson Iwuoha) indefinitely, we enjoin well meaning Nigerians to ask this questions before taking this men serious.
1 why did Samuelson Iwuoha wait until was suspended indefinitely to come out with his allegations?
2 IF kenneth Uwadi claims he coordinates human rights abuses and corruption, how many employees does he have in his office on payroll? Where is his office and when was this NGO registered?  What have his NGO accomplished since inception? How many people or groups, official etc who, because of his outburst got convicted in Nigeria?

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