Molders, ceramic and tile equipment are among the state properties the Imo government claimed on Thursday in a warehouse allegedly owned by ex-Gov Rochas Okorocha.
Imo Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem led a team to the warehouse located along Owerri/ Aba Road, said the pieces of equipment meant for the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry were stashed away.
He said Ookorocha, who is now in the Senate, locked them away there to establish a private company.
Ebegbulem couldn’t give evidence of the recovered properties, though.
The Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry in Ehime Mbano was established by the administration of the late Sam Mbakwe, the first civilian governor of old Imo State.
“The said 55-feet by 200-length warehouse is adjacent another warehouse where the then Emeka Ihedioha administration discovered some public properties said to be owned by the state,” said the commissioner.
He said Gov Hope Uzodnma raised the alarm on the missing equipment, and some patriotic citizens of the state gave the government some hints on these looted Imo properties kept by the Okorochas along Owerri/Aba Road.
”We followed up to find out the truth and with what we have seen in Okorocha’s warehouse; there is a plan by Okorocha to set up a ceramic factory with government-owned properties as a personal factory.
“Information we have gathered from those guarding the warehouse is that sometimes, their (Okorocha’s) people come here to pick some items and sell them off.
”However, some of the equipment we are looking for are here and we have come to take possession of the Imo properties and anybody we see here will blame himself. We have taken over the government properties for the good of Imolites based on their demands.
”Some of the public properties discovered included equipment of the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry set up by the then government of Sam Mbakwe as the industry established for Imo people have been personalized.
”We also found street light equipment and their components, traffic light accessories, artificial tree plants were all found in the large warehouse owned by Okorocha.
“Also, a molder from the Nsu tiles and ceramics and other components of the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry were discovered to be in the warehouse and now we have taken over.”
But Okorocha said what the government recovered were mere cartons of tiles.
”It was interesting to read that what the commissioner said they recovered were street light accessories and cartons of ties. He didn’t even disclose how he arrived at the conclusion that those items were owned by the government,” he added in a statement by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo.
He challenged the government to disclose or publish the proof of ownership of all they claimed they had recovered.
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