Ikpeazu left N3.49bn credit balance – Former Abia commissioner counters Gov Otti

A former Commissioner for Information in Abia State, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, has said the immediate past governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, left a net credit balance of N3.48 billion for the present administration led by Governor Alex Otti.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Okiyi-Kalu said the revelation was contained in the Abia Forensic Audit report done by Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, KPMG, a multinational professional services network that provides audit, advisory, tax and legal services.

The former commissioner clarified while reacting to allegations made by the incumbent governor against Ikpeazu.

Recall that Governor Otti claimed on April 6, 2024, that he inherited N192.2bn debt from his immediate predecessor, Okezie.

During an interaction with journalists, the governor stated that some of the debts have been paid off with high interest rates, adding: “It is tough, but we have to do it. We manage our expenses well and are able to live.”

Reacting, Okiyi-Kalu stated that contrary to allegations against Ikpeazu by the current government, the former governor left more for Otti, stressing that “cash in the bank is different from other near-cash assets, such as a 3.5 per cent share in Aba Independent Power Project, IPP Geometric, which is now valued at N80 billion, among others.”

He said the net credit balance of N3.48 billion was enough to pay two months of salaries for Abia State workers.

Part of the statement reads: “So far, Otti’s government has spent N9 billion on a subhead called ‘research and development.’ What is he researching and developing in Abia State? Check the quarterly financial reports published by his administration, if in doubt.

“Based on antecedent, never trust anything said by Governor Otti. He lies and misrepresents facts too frequently to be taken seriously.

“Did you notice that after I responded to his allegation of missing N10b with details of road contractors paid from the money, he said, “The money was moved into 32 different accounts” instead of the money being paid into 32 road contractors’ accounts?”

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