If information making rounds in the state concerning the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Acho Ihim’s, his political career may likely to take a downward slope.
Fresh information on how he entered into trouble has emerged over the alleged 18 Million Naira fraud case he is currently standing trial.
It was learnt learnt that Ihim’s trouble started following a petition signed by Hon. Eke Peter Chimezie and filed to the Commissioner for Justice, Attorney General of Imo State, Ministry of Justice, Imo State, dated 25th September, 2014 which reads, “Request For Your Prompt Intervention In The Prosecution of Charge NO. HO/12C/2010 (Okigwe High Court), Commissioner of Police Vs Acho Ihim, Hon. Member Rep. Okigwe in Imo House of Assembly and 4 Others”.
The Complainant who was Head of Works Department at Okigwe Local Government from 28th February to 30th September 2006, claimed that Acho Ihim who was the then Executive Chairman, Dr. Alexander Onwuzuruike (DAGS, now late), Mr. Ben Ndufor, Treasurer, Mr. Damian Ibe, Cashier and Mr Micheal Chimezie, Works Superintendents allegedly forged and raised payment vouchers in his name and office to the tune of #32,048,000(Thirty Two Million, Forty- Eight Thousand naira) for unexecuted Council projects.
In the petition, he stated that the alleged fraudulent activities carried out in 2006 without his knowledge was because, he was punitively transferred to another LG, which had made the debt hang on his name, adding that, he had been repeatedly mandated to account for the money by the Auditor General for Imo Local Government Affairs, Imo State.
It further read, “the most annoying aspect of the issue is that, very soon I will retire from the Civil service and if my name is not cleared from this issue, it must affect my terminal benefits (pension and gratuity).
“Sir, the annoying and disturbing aspect of the matter is that, it has been in High Court, Okigwe since 2010 and unnecessarily delayed due to manipulations of the Kingpin, Acho Ihim. This condition had given rise to the frequent long adjourned case. Moreso, I have experienced two unsuccessful assassination attempts and undue financial hardship condition within the period of the case”.
Recall that, in 2006 the four suspects were docked at the Okigwe High Court for fraud case to the tune of #18,000,000.
The High Court Judge, Justice C. Iheka who apparently had earlier noticed the delayed tactics applied in the case, for more than 9years, warned the suspects to come take plea on the 8 criminal charges bordering on stealing, forging, falsifying official documents, without delay.
The Trial High Court Judge, Justice C. Iheka enraged by the continued absence of the suspects ordered that, the State Counsel, Barr. Iwuchukwu produce the case file or risk detention in prison custody.
Justice Iheka maintained that, it was for his integrity and the state of the Judiciary, adding further that, any more delay would amount to the case being transferred to the National Judiciary Council, the Attorney General of the Federation and the President for automatic legal action on the matter. The Annexure “A”, signed by Peter Eke Chimezie had attached to it, payment voucher numbers, dates, amount and projects purportedly the whooping sum was used for.
The case was subsequently adjourned to 26th September 2018 for further hearing.