|Chinedu Photo Credit: Imo Trumpeta|
A former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Imo State, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Mr Chinedu Offor is in Police net answering questions on how a contract of thirty Nine Million Eight Hundred and twenty thousand naira (N39,820,000.00) to supply Transmitter in Imo Broadcasting Corporation IBC, was executed under his stewardship as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
But Trumpeta learnt that Offor had ran to court last Friday to obtain injunction stopping police from investigating what may turn out to be a big financial scam.
This Newspaper was informed that Offor as Commissioner for Information entered into a contractual agreement with PRO-TECH (LCIL) Global Technologies limited located at KM 10, Lasuisheri Road, By Afolabi Bus-stop, Alimosho Lagos, to supply and install A 10KW FA Trasitter in IBC at N39,820,000.00.
According to PRO-TECH Global Technologies, the contract was carried out to the letter, but was only paid Nine million six hundred thousand naira (N19,600,000.00) only.
The contractor after requesting Offor to pay the balance totaling twenty million three hundred and twenty thousand naira (N20,320,000.00) wrote to Governor Okorocha on the 18th of Aug 2014 complaining that “A job to install a 10KW FM Transmitter was given to Company by the Imo State Government via the then Commissioner for Information Hon. Chinedu Offor to the tune of Twenty Seven Million Naira (27,000,000.00) as cost for the Transmitter, and Twelve Million Eight Hundred and twenty Thousand naira (N12,820,000.00) as cost support Equipment for Electricity Power and Studio Equipments, Totaling Thirty )e Million Eight Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira (N39,820,000.00).
“Ever since, before the supply of these Equipment, we were asking the Commissioner of Information Hon. Offor for the JOB ORDER concerning this supply and installations, the Commissioner told us to proceed with the job, that he was getting us the papers. We did the supplies and installations as he said.
“The Electc ZHC Transmitter we supplied and installed in the IBC with the support equipments are all working according to their specifications.
The only payment by then Hon. Commissioner was TWO MILLION SEVEN THOUSAND NAIRA ONLY (2,700,00.00) after TAX (see copy of receipt attached with Ref: No. MOIC & T/OC/13, (FIVE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND NAIRA ONLY (N5,400,000.00) after TAX (see copy of receipt attached also with Ref: No. MOIC & T/OC/13), Two Million Naira as part payment for studio console which was paid from Hon. Commissioner Account, PRINCEDUDE NIGERIA LIMITED. And NINE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND (N9,500,000.00) also from PRICEDUDE NIGERIA LIMITED. TOTALING NINTEEN MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND NAIRA ONLY, (19,600,000.00)
Since then we have been going to the Hon. Commissioner for the job order and our balance payment to no avail. The worst is that we can’t reach Hon. Chinedu Offor because he is the current Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor.
“Based on this situation, we come to you, to use your good office to recover this sum for us because we have been under pressure and threats from the people that supplied these this equipment on trust to us since August 2013”.
Before then, the Ministry of Information and Strategy under TOE Ekechi’s command as commissioner had earlier written to the Director General of the corporation to not only confirm the listed items and knowledge of contractual agreement but also supply necessary information related to the contract.
Based on the difficulty to pay the amount and the shody manner the payment was being handled including obvious irregularities, counsel to PRO-TECH Global Technologies Ltd Ebere Ohameje SCO petitioned the commissioner of police Imo state command on the subject Re: Hon Chinedu Offor, criminal conversion. Fraudulent misappropriation of funds where it stated that “our client had persistently requested from the then commissioner for information Hon Offor for the job order covering the supply and installations. But he asked the company proceed with the job as he was already processing the papers. However, the transmitter was supplied and installed in IBC according to specifications.
The form alleged that instead of receiving money direct from ministry coffers or IBC, it only received N19,600,000 from the account of his private company Prince Dude Nigeria Ltd, thereby leaving a balance of N20,320,000.00 (twenty million, three hundred and twenty thousand naira only.
Police were informed that based on investigations from the ministry, Offor may have collected the entire sum and lodged in his personal account before paying fraction to the Pro-Tech, an indication that the balance may have been converted to personal use.
Explaining further in the petition, Pro tech noted that a letter to Gov Okorocha on the matter dated 18 August 2014, prompted Offor to quickly resign his appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff with fresh reports that he is suspected to be making moves to flee the country.
On receipt of the petition and having received the green light from the state government to go ahead on the investigation, the matter was assigned to the state investigation Bureau SIB under a Chief superintendent of Police (CSP) names withheld who communicated information ministry.
In response to a letter, the Perm Sec of Information ministry acknowledged there was a contract between the ministry and Pro Tec and awarded by the then commissioner Offor. It revealed that when it was awarded the ministry was not involved as the DAF who normally issues jobbing order or contract agreement for such contract was not aware. The clarification from the ministry further stated that it was not sure of the total amount released by the government out of the whole contract sum, it also confirmed the earlier amount paid adding that the name Prince Dude Nig Ltd has never been heard of in the ministry of information.
The ministry does not know any person or company that goes by that name”
Further revelation from the ministry letter indicated that Offor may have sometime between July and sept 2013 transferred the remaining funds meant for the contract from the ministry account into his personal account through his position as Deputy Chief of staff in Govt House then. The ministry promised to make available to police teller and relevant documents he was alleged to have used to transfer the money into his personal account.
Based on the details, Police went after Offor on his involvement and was said to have been arrested. However, to avoid becoming guest of police, Offor was said to have rushed to court to evade police harassment.
Efforts to get the PRO of Police, Andrew Enwere to speak on the matter was unsuccessful as his phone was switched off.
Offor’s number ran severally without a response on his reaction to the matter.