Forensic Audit: Gov Otti Makes More Shocking Revelations, Vows To Recover Abia Funds

 

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has made further shocking revelations regarding the alleged diversion of Ten Billion Naira intended for the construction of the State Airport Project during the tenure of his predecessor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.

 

Governor Otti who made the revelation during his monthly Media Parley tagged “Governor Alex Otti Speaks to Abians” held at Government House Umuahia.

 

He said that the Forensic Auditing on the Financial dealings concerning the Airport project was conducted by KPMG, a reputable International Auditing Firm which unearthed the financial anomaly.

 

 

Governor Otti clarified that the audit revealed the diversion of Ten Billion Naira allocated for the airport project into 32 different company accounts, and emphasized that the funds were disbursed without proper approval from the State House of Assembly.

 

Otti highlighted discrepancies in the former administration’s claims of diverting the funds into road projects, noting that FEROTEX Construction Company, admitted to never applying for the Abia State Airport Project under Ikpeazu’s tenure.

 

 

“He (the Managing Director of Ferotex)showed us letters from the then government to move the monies in different tranches to 32 companies and that he did so on the instruction of the former government”, Otti stated.

 

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Governor Otti who dismissed the former governor’s denial said the denial was not unexpected. He cited evidence from bank statements and a subsequent letter to the House of Assembly requesting approval for the construction funds and emphasized that the truth of the matter is undeniable and will soon be published.

 

“The statement is there, the report is there. By the way the report will be published very soon. But I can assure you that as reported by the media , it’s KPMG that did the forensic audit.

 

“In the bank statement on the 26th of September 2020 when people were dealing with Covid that a debit went into the state account for 10 billion Naira and it’s payment for 80 percent contract of the Abia airport.

 

 

“On the 13th of October, and that’s almost three weeks after, a letter was written by the then Governor to the House of Assembly requesting for approval of 10 billion Naira for the construction of Abia airport.

 

“On the 14th of October, one day after, a letter was written to the then governor giving him approval of the 10 billion that he required for the airport.

 

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“So, clearly something went wrong. Our engagement with the company that received the money gives an impression that the company was deceived. The Managing Director of the company said that he told them that he has never built an airport before and that it is not his area of competence neither did he apply to them to construct an airport.

 

“So the are people denying but the question for them is, how come money moved into an account of somebody who has said he neither sent in a bid for an airport nor has he the competence to construct an airport?

 

When asked what would be the next action of his administration on the misappropriation of the N10b State Airport project , Governor Otti stressed that his administration’s primary concern is either the completion of the Abia Airport or the return of the diverted funds.

 

 

He stated his administration is not interested in engaging in disputes or seeking punitive measures unless necessary for the recovery of the state’s assets.

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“So, like I said, the rest of the work will be done by Security Agencies but what is important for our government is either that somebody is showing us the airport or somebody is returning our money. That is what is important to us.

 

We are not interested about the fire works, their abuses, we are not interested in anybody going to jail, except if they are telling us that somebody who lost his property or money should not be asking for it, we are looking for our money or in the alternative the airport”, Gov Otti further demanded.