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A Nigerian civil society group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked Dr Muhammad Isah Acting Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Professor Bolaji Owasanoye Acting Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to “jointly investigate allegations of incompatibility and/or apparent conflict of interest situation, and abuse of office involving Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in connection with the exercise of his public functions and leadership of the Rochas Okorocha Foundation, and to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in any such investigation.”

The organization said that “Such investigation would help to improve public confidence in public authorities, and minimize the risks of bad government by public officials.”

In the petition dated 10 November 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organization expressed “serious concern that Governor Okorocha may have spent over N1 billion of public funds to build statues of South African President Jacob Zuma and Liberian President Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.”

According to the organization, “the spending on statues and apparent misuse of public resources may have violated constitutional provisions and international standards on code of conduct for public officers. The initiatives cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever, especially at a time when Imo state is unable or unwilling to pay teachers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.”

The petition copied to Ibrahim Magu Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) read in part: “Inviting Zuma and Johnson-Sirleaf to attend the opening of his Foundation and then ‘honoring’ them with statues suggests abuse of office and apparent conflict of interest situation, as such acts were undertaken by Governor Okorocha in the exercise of his public functions to presumably promote and advance the commercial and other interests of the Foundation.” Continue

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