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Businessman accuses Umahi of threats, petitions IGP

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An Abuja-based businessman and Financial Consultant, Dr. Maurice Ibe, has accused the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi of threatening his life.

Ibe, the Chief Executive Officer of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited, Abuja, said the Ebonyi State Government engaged his company and Andrew Bishopton Limited to recover money wrongly deducted by the federal government on foreign loans from the state government between 1995 and 2002.

He added that the total sum of $119,419,427.59 was recovered by the companies for the state government, noting that the Ebonyi State government defaulted in the payment of the consultancy fees agreed between the state government and the consultants.

Ibe said this prompted the companies to drag the state government to court.

In a petition by his lawyer, Charles Ude, to the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba, he accused the governor of the state of witch-hunting him with policemen after he lost the case in court.

He added that some policemen had laid siege to his house, calling on the IGP to come to the rescue of his clients.

The petition partly read, “Based on a Memorandum of Undertaking, Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited and Andrew Bishopton Limited, acting as partners, entered into a working relationship that enabled them to collaborate on a consultancy contract for Ebonyi State Government, resulting in the recovery of the sum of USD119,419,427.59 for the State, as over-deductions and miscellaneous charges wrongfully made by the federal government of Nigeria on foreign loans utilized by Ebonyi State government from 1995- 2002.

“My client, along with the Chief Executive Officer of Andrew Bishopton Limited, exhausted all diplomatic means to get Umahi to pay them; however, it proved abortive. As a result, they were left with no option than to drag him to the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division. Consequently, on Thursday, July 21, 2022, the Court, presided over by Honourable Justice Stephen Daylop Pam, passed judgment in their favour, and ordered Umahi and the Ebonyi State government to pay them the agreed amount based on the services rendered.

“Unfortunately, Umahi resorted to using different means to intimidate his client and his partner, including the use of the Ebonyi Command of the Nigerian Police Force, who immediately swooped on her at her Abuja home, and in a frightful manner forcefully took her to Ebonyi and has been incarcerated at their facility in Abakaliki since July 31, 2022.

“My client had observed the following of his car and the strange movement of persons in unmarked vehicles around his home and office on or since July 31, 2022. He is convinced that, but for his personal security personnel, he would have suffered the same faith as Ms. Jackie. He has gone into hiding on account of the same, and needs to regain his liberty and resume his normal activities, which he cannot presently do with the threat.

“Consequently, there is a need for the IGP to protect him from being attacked or abducted by the policemen sent after him by the Governor.“

When contacted, Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Strategy, Chooks Okoh, denied the allegations.

He added that the governor had no business with Ibe.

Okoh said, “The Ebonyi state governor has no business with any Maurice Ibe. It is good he has petitioned the IG. We hope the IG will do due diligence in the case and bring out who is lying and telling the truth.

“It is clear the Paris club refund was sourced for the governors by a common cause which is what governors discussed recently. It is in the news that they are having a problem with the Attorney General of the Federation who wants to deduct certain money for people who facilitated the fund. The question is if somebody did it for the governors, is Ebonyi different? “

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