Imo State government has approved the request of the Auditor-General for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs to take necessary steps to recover N19.63 billion allegedly siphoned from the State-Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC), through the Bureau for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs (BLGCA), by the sacked government of Emeka Ihedioha, in seven months in office.

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The amount was allegedly siphoned either for spurious and phony projects, projects/contracts not executed, and or through huge cash withdrawals for undisclosed purposes.

At a press conference in Owerri, yesterday, the commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the misappropriated funds was discovered during a routine audit of the accounts and records of JAAC with the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs by the Local Government Auditor General for the fiscal year ended 31/12/2019.

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He said government’s action was in line with the NEW IMO Agenda to entrench a resilient and transparent public service and restore financial discipline and rule of law premised on extant laws pertaining to the Custody, Management and Appropriation of Public Funds.

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However, when contacted, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, Chief Press Secretary to ex- governor Ihedioha, declined comment.

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