The Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has said that his association with Chika Augustine Odionyemma, one of the 78 Nigerians indicted in the United States by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last Thursday, was purely on the basis of their common Imo nativity.
Ihedioha explained that he attended some of Odionyemma’s public outreaches because they were based on causes that were also dear to his own heart.
The governor added that, as of the time he appointed the FBI-indicted Odionyemma as a member of his inauguration planning and handover committee, the man had no known case of criminal involvement anywhere in the world.
Odionyemma was appointed as member of the sub-committee on logistics.
Speaking on the issue, which had dominated the social media over the weekend, Izuchukwu Akwarandu, aide on New Media to the Governor of Imo State, on Monday debunked the speculation that Chika Augustine Odionyemma sponsored the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
Akwarandu said that those who link Odionyemma’s alleged fraud dealings to the governor were being “mischievous.”
The governor’s aide said that, as of the time then governor-elect appointed Odionyemma into the committee that oversaw his inauguration, there was no fraud case hanging on Odionyemma neck anywhere in the world.
Akwarandu said that Odionyemma’s alleged fraud case was the suspect’s personal issues, saying it had nothing to do with the governor or the Imo State Government.
He said that Ihedioha attended some of the programmes Odionyemma organised because they were meant to empower the people.
Akwarandu noted that Ihedioha attended the programmes in the capacity that he (Odionyemma) was an Imo son.
The governor’s aide said, “He (Odionyemma) is an Imo son and it was in that capacity that the governor attended the programmes he organised.
“Moreover, those programmes were meant to empower the people and you know that the governor is a man of the people.”
Continuing, Ihedioha’s aide said, “It is important to note that, as of the time the governor appointed him into the inauguration committee, there was no fraud case hanging around his (Odionyemma) neck anywhere in the world.
“The time the governor attended the programmes he organised, there was no fraud case hanging around his neck anywhere in the world too.
“He is an Imo son and it was in that capacity that the governor attended his programmes. Nothing else.
“Those who say that he sponsored the governor’s election are just being mischievous.
“Governorship election is a big project. It is not something you say somebody sponsored. Nobody sponsored the governor’s election.
“The fraud case is personal. It has nothing to do with the governor.
“The governor is a man of integrity who does not condone evil.
“Those who are linking the governor to the fraud case because he attended some of the programmes Odionyemma organised or he appointed him into the inauguration committee are just being mischievous and playing petty politics.”
See Ihedioha’s letter appointing Chika Augustine Odionyemma into his inauguration planning and handover committee:
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