Ikpeazu, aspiring PDP guber on the warpath – The Sun Nigeria

Since Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and an aspiring People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governor in the state, Chief Ncheta Omerekpe, are on a war footing over an alleged 300 million loan of dollars that would have been granted to the state government by the African Development Bank.

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Omerekpe had on his tour of the local government areas of the state to meet the delegates of the PDP primaries, told them: “I got a loan of $300 million from the African Development Bank for the state” after the Governor “ran to me”.

In a quick reaction, Ikpeazu, in a statement through his chief press officer, Onyebuchi Ememanka, said: “Our attention has been drawn to a video circulating online where a Mr. Ncheta Omerekpe, aspiring to the governorship of Abia State on the platform of the PDP, made very ridiculous claims against the person of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and his administration.

“It is elementary to know that the African Development Bank does not need Omerekpe to guarantee a loan to the government of Abia State or any other government. Transactions at this level follow established and internationally recognized standard procedures and processes.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let it be made clear that to date the Abia State Government has not accessed any loan of $300 million or any amount from the Bank African development”.

The statement made it clear that Ikpeazu does not need anyone’s intervention before he can speak to the authorities of the African Development Bank, whose chairman, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, he said, maintained strong personal and official relations with the governor and the state government.

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Ikpeazu said in March 2020 that he led a delegation of state government officials to a meeting with Dr. Adesina at the bank’s headquarters in Abidjan where issues of sustainable development and critical areas of economic collaboration between the bank and state government were discussed.

“The Federal Ministry of Finance and the National Assembly, who play a statutory role in these bilateral financial arrangements, are fully aware of the status of discussions between the Abia State Government and the African Development Bank.

“$300 million is a lot of money. At no time has the government of Abia State had access to such money or any amount from the African Development Bank.

Any serious person can easily get information on such things from federal government agencies like the Office of Debt Management.

On Omerekpe’s claim in the same video that he facilitated another investment from the same African Development Bank in agriculture to the tune of around $2 billion for the state government, but that the investment was frustrated because some state government officials allegedly demanded a $200 million bribe from the investor, Ikpeazu denied, saying he would never ask for a gratuity from any investor before investing in the state.

The governor noted that he would take the PDP gubernatorial aspirant to court for slandering him over the corruption allegation.

“Omerekpe will hear from the governor’s lawyers very soon,” the statement added.

However, following Ememanka’s statement, the Omerekpe camp came out to say that its principal stood by his earlier claim to facilitate the loan for the state.

A statement from Nnamdi Okogbuo,

The Managing Director of Campaign Organization Ncheta Omerekpe said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Chief Ncheta Elvis Omerekpe came into the picture in the African Development Bank (AfDB) loan when it was alleged that Dr. Alex Otti had blocked access to the loan.

“Therefore, his company (Omerekpe) was consulted for intervention as a consultant, pro bono, and he defended the loan before the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Loans, led by Senator Shehu Sani during the 8th Senate.

“The following people accompanied Chief Omerekpe before the Senate Committee, Senator TA Orji, Senator Enyi Abaribe, Obinna Oriaku, Bob Ogu, Hon. Darlington Nwokocha among others.

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