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Okorocha in Better Position to Address Allegations against Me – Agbaso

The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Mr. Jude Agbaso, on Wednesday  said his principal, Chief Rochas Okorocha, was in position to address all the allegations leveled against him because everything regarding the controversial contract was designed and implemented by him, including the payment which he claimed ran in excess.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos yesterday, Agbaso who maintained his innocence for the umpteenth time, however denied allegations by the Imo State House of Assembly that he received the sum of N458 million as bribe in a contract scam involving Messrs JPROS International Nigeria Limited.

Members of the Imo Assembly have in the past two weeks, been at loggerheads with Agbaso over alleged bribery, a situation that has led to an impeachment proceeding against him, but deputy governor at the press conference reiterated that it was all about 2015 and an attempt to subvert an subsisting agreement to hand-over power to Owerri zone in 2015.

While he maintained that he has no relationship with the contractor but his boss, Agbaso said: “I never knew JPRO the contractor that is working on the present day Sam Mbakwe Road. They are a company that was introduced to the state by Governor Rochas Okorocha who gave the permission for a contract of the magnitude of N1.5 billion. Thereafter, when I was away on a trip to India, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, applied for the final approval of the job so that the governor would give his final approval for the job which initially was less than N1.5 billion.

“This was communicated to the governor who gave the approval but went beyond to give approval for the payment of N1.5bn to the contractor via the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Works. Incidentally, his approval was communicated to the Commissioner for Finance who, instead of routing the money through the coffers of the Ministry of Works for onward certification and raising of vouchers for payment to the construction company after due processes would have been fulfilled, routed this through the office of the Accountant-General and paid directly to the contractor.

He challenged those accusing of crime to go to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and conduct a search on the companies and the two banks to find out the owners of the said accounts.

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