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JPros: Rochas Okorocha Should tell us what happened to the ₦458million bribe – Jude Agbaso opens up


JPros: Rochas Okorocha Should tell us what happened to the ₦458million bribe – Jude Agbaso opens up

…clears the air on Impeachment, Joseph Dina.

Sir Jude Agbaso, a former Deputy Governor of Imo State, has responded to the media attack against his person by his former boss and former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.

Agbaso in his reaction, accused Okorocha of masterminding his impeachment for refusing to play along with Okorocha’s style of governance especially in the area of awarding contracts without following due process.

Recall that the former Deputy Governor was removed from office, following allegations of that he allegedly collected  bribe of N458million from a Lebanese contractor, Joseph Dina.

Sir Jude Agbaso who challenged the impeachment in court, got the verdict of the then Imo State Assembly which was under the Speakership of the late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, overturned and he has since been reinstated as a former Deputy Governor of the state.

Agbaso had in the course of an interview with Guardian Newspaper, labbeled Okorocha’s administration as the worst in the state, in reaction to a question he was asked.

The currently embattled former governor would attack Agbaso through his media assistant Sam Onwuemedo, accusing his former deputy as still being bitter over his impeachment.

Agbaso while clearing the air over his impeachment and the Jospeh Dina matter, would dare his former boss to talk around Ogboko, Okorocha’s hometown with him without police protection.

His reply to Okorocha reads in full as follows

My Rift With Rochas Okorocha, Setting the Records Straight

By Sir Jude Agbaso

I would not have bothered myself reacting to Rochas Okorocha and his lap dog, Sam Onwuemedo, who has become notorious for suffering from an obvious psychiatric diarrhea of the mouth, but for the benefit of a few uninformed, who are still ignorant of the disaster that was Rochas Okorocha and the eight years of hell he put the good people of Imo State through, I have decided to put pen to paper and making some clarifications.

First and foremost, I would like to address some things I managed to pick out from the incoherent rambling Sam Onwuemedo called a press release.

In over ten years since I parted ways with Rochas Okorocha, I don’t think my name can be found in any press release, neither would you find anywhere that I made any comment whatsoever about his person.

I am that kind of person who refuses to carry poisonous garbage in my heart and brooding over Okorocha would be infecting myself with a poisonous disease.

God forbid.

A few weeks ago however, a journalist during the course of an interview, asked me a pointed question about what I thought about Okorocha’s regime and I gave an honest answer to that question and moved on.

Anybody you meet on the streets of Imo State would tell you that Rochas Okorocha’s eight years were the worst the state has ever seen.

Where then is the hatred against Okorocha, when I simply stated what even a child would tell you?

Sam Onwuemedo ignorantly made reference to the fabricated lies cooked up by Okorocha against my person, simply because I refused to do things the way he and his cohorts wanted things to be done in the state.

Firstly Sam Onwuemedo, let me inform you that from the High court to the Supreme Court, I have been cleared of all the lies brought against me and have been reinstated to my rightful place as a former Deputy Governor of Imo State.

But let me get into the whole JPros matter a little bit further.

Sam Onwuemedo claimed that I didn’t come to the 7-man “slaughter” table Okorocha had supposedly prepared for me.

First and foremost, no impeachment notice was served on my person and this is one out of the 12 steps that must by law, be taken before a deputy governor can be impeached.

I heard Okorocha and his cohorts were plotting to impeach me on the social media. No proper channel of official communication was followed to serve me any form of notice of impeachment. No notice was even published on the pages of any reliable newspaper.

How then can any sane human being appear before a panel he was not properly served or informed of its sitting? One could dismiss it as a rumour or April fool prank, since the proper channels for such an action was not taken.

However, when I took steps and found out that such a panel existed, I send a communication through my legal counsel to the panel headed by one Justice Anonihu who Okorocha had procured for the hatchet job, informing them that no summon was served on my person to appear before them when constitutionally, they ought to have done so.

Now interestingly, without taking cognizance of my legal communication to them, the panel which like I stated above, was presided over by one Justice Anonihu, who was not even the Chief Judge of the State (note, the Chief Judge is supposed to have presided over the matter if they had followed Due Process) went on with what they had already been bought and paid to do.

It is really shocking how in less than 12 hours, the so-called panel supposedly called “witnesses”, went through “documents”, finished their “investigations”, reached a “verdict”, communicated their so-called verdict to the House of Assembly which by the way, was on recess at that time but was hurriedly convened for the job they had been most likely paid to do (to impeach me).

All these were processes that usually take days to be concluded so that every side would be heard before a verdict can be reached. Unfortunately, Anonihu, who is supposed to be an honorable justice and representative of Rule of Law, threw his name and integrity into the bush probably for the biblical plate of porridge and allowed himself to be used to disgrace the law of the country he swore to uphold.

The State Assembly then headed by Benjamin Uwajumogu, without asking any questions, within minutes, passed an impeachment verdict on me and communicated same to Okorocha. The State Assembly members working on instruction, refused to find out why I didn’t attend the so-called panel hearing neither did they acknowledge the fact that I was not served any notice. Okorocha on his part, while sending his acceptance of their so-called decision, sent along the name of a new deputy governor he had already prepared to take over from me.

The so-called probe, investigation and impeachment took place in under 12 hours. You cannot even describe what happened that day as a miscarriage of justice. There is no words for what Okorocha did that day or what he put Imo people through subsequently. This is the so-called “impeachment” Sam Onwuemedo was talking about.

Of course I went to court and at every point, Okorocha cooked up interlocutory appeals that had nothing to do with the impeachment matter at hand, just to stall the case.

By the time we went from the High court to the Appeal and then to the Supreme Court which referred us back to the High court to commence the hearing of the impeachment matter proper, my tenure had been completely eroded.

Okorocha used Justice Ikpeama to adjourn and adjourn the matter and refused to hear the matter for two and half years. I would have petitioned Ikpeama at the NJC for allowing himself to be used to delay justice but to save his pension, I heeded to pleas.

Today the matter has been heard and I have received justice in my favour and the so-called impeachment has been vacated.

Now let’s look at the facts of the matter. The Joseph Dina Sam Onwuemedo talked about, was brought to Imo State by Okorocha, who offered Dina a contract and also inappropriately paid Dina via the office of the governor, through his Principal Secretary and not through the Ministry of Works which I was then the commissioner. What does the Principal Secretary or the office of the governor have to do with paying a road contractor? What did a state lawmaker for that matter, have to do with awarding road contracts and paying contractors? This is the job of the executive and should go through the Ministry of Works which would also supervise the quality of work being done. But it was the norm under Okorocha and my rejection of that obviously fraudulent style of “administration” was the real reason those lies were cooked up against me.

Even the payment to the contractor Joseph Dina, was made to him when I was in faraway India representing the state. So how then, did I get involved in the contract Okorocha awarded and paid for? How would I be collecting bribe for a contract I didn’t award or pay for? The lies didn’t just add up.

These were amongst the facts the court saw and dismissed their kangaroo impeachment.

Okorocha and Benjamin Uwajumogu awarded road contracts to whoever they liked and that was where our problems started. That was why they decided to impeach me because I refused their style of awarding contracts without following proper procedures.

How would I collect bribe of N458million from Dina when I played no role in bringing him to Imo State or awarding him the contract? If there was a bribe given thereafter, Okorocha and his Principal Secretary who awarded the contract and disbursed the money to Dina, should give us account of it.

Today I enjoy all the rights and privileges of a former deputy of Imo State.

Sam Onwuemedo by his ignorant mudslinging, has exposed himself to a lawsuit on his person which I am still considering.

Sometimes I wonder at Sam Onwuemedo’s mental health if he should tell me to cover my face in shame. Between I and Rochas Okorocha, who should cover his face in shame?

Till date, I move around my village, sit and interact with my people freely and unhindered. Can Rochas Okorocha do the same in his hometown of Ogboko?

I walk around freely in Owerri municipal most times leaving my police detail behind so that they don’t harass people and people greet me warmly when they see me. Can Rochas Okorocha, who claimed he did well for Imo people do the same?

I dare Rochas Okorocha to take a walk with me around his hometown of Ogboko or around Owerri municipal or anywhere in Imo State for that matter, without a single policeman and let’s see who would be stoned by the people.

I saw a picture of former governor Ikedi Ohakim shopping alone at Shoprite Owerri without an army of policemen to protect him. Former governor Achike Udenwa moves around freely without an army of policemen to shield him from the people. If Okorocha cannot meet my challenge, then he has shown himself as the only former governor who cannot move freely among his people and this is a clear indication that he failed the people and is afraid of what they would do to him if the police isn’t protecting him.

If Okorocha fails to meet my challenge, he should hide his face in shame for being the worst thing that ever happened to Imo people.

If fact, Rochas Okorocha and everything connected to him should hide their faces in shame for the generational curse and humiliation his greed has brought upon him and everything connected to him.

When the EFCC invited me over the lies Okorocha cooked up against me, as one who has nothing to hide, I honored their invitation and was cleared by them. I was never arrested neither did I sleep in their cell like we’ve seen happen to some hardened fraudsters and treasury looters. I didn’t pay a kobo to anybody to lobby EFCC for me.

We all witnessed the rather embarrassing theatrics of Rochas Okorocha when the EFCC paid him a visit.

Yet this man hadn’t understood that he is a disgrace to himself and nobody takes him serious anymore.

I am a man that stands firmly for the truth and passively replied the journalist who sought my views on Okorocha’s administration. However, in a few days time, I would once again put pen to paper and give Ndi Imo a slightly more in-depth reaction on what I think about the administration of Rochas Okorocha as Imo State governor.

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