“No Skeletons In Ex Gov Ihedioha’s Cupboard”– Former Imo State Pension Chairman Refutes 330M Pension Fraud Allegations
Sir Chime Aliliele
No pensioner earned up to N1m per month under Ihedioha administration.
There are no skeletons in the cupboard of Ihedioha’s Pension Reforms –
Former Executive Chairman, Imo State Pension Commission, Sir Chime Aliliele has spoken up against pension fund embezzling allegations against the state’s former Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
In a press release on Sunday, Sir Aliliele expressed disbelief in allegations that the previous Governor was involved in the weighty N330m fraud.
“ I put the blame squarely on Governor Hope Uzodimma’s Pension Advisers and Consultants, it is either that they deliberately want to give him a national embarrassment or they clearly do not understand what they are doing”, Aliliele said.
According to the former Pensions Chairman, the Governor relies on information from his aides, saying that Uzodimma, current Governor of the state, who is leading the pension fraud probe, is receiving wrong counsel from his aids.
Aliliele opined that everything about pensions were straightened out by the Ihedioha administration; including initiating the process for Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
According to him, this was the main reason for setting up Imo State Pension Commission and appointing me the Executive Chairman.
Further bewailing the current Governor’s inconsistent aides, Aliliele said: “Instead of the Pension handlers of Governor Uzodinma to advise him to adopt Ihedioha’s Pension Reforms like the Governor did on some of his predecessor’s programs, they keep telling him one lie or the other about unfounded frauds which the reforms eliminated, for reasons best known to them.
The other time it was that pension money was paid into a Consultants account before paying pensioners, the other one was that they saved N2bn per month and now it is about 8 people earning N330m per annum, which have all turned out to be blatant lies”.
Aliliele expressed confidence in Ihedioha’s intergrity, revealing his full support in clearing his name.
“Mr Governor Sir, I am ready to come and address your Exco on our Pension Reforms and the Consultant during Ihedioha’s regime is willing to come too. Bring your Pension team so that we can tell them to their face that they don’t know what they are doing.
My advice to you Sir is that going forward, take the advice from your Pension team with a pinch of salt before they embarrass you further.
There are no skeletons in the cupboard of Ihedioha’s Pension Reforms”, he said.
A Large Majority Of Sir Chime Aliliele’s Statement Reads:
IN THE LAST 24 HOURS I have received hundreds of phone calls and WhatsApp message in reference to a Vanguard publication yesterday July 4, 2020 under the above heading. As the Executive Chairman of Imo State Pension Commission under the Rebuild Imo administration of His Excellency Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha CON, I am forced once again for the second time since we left office to make clarifications on unfounded allegations against our Pension Reforms.
Vanguard quoted Governor Hope Uzodinma to have published 8 names as the Pension Fraud Masterminds earning N330m annually. The names and the corresponding amounts are:
1. Ajokubi H. A N65,685,491.00
2. Njoku DamianN5,042,439.58
3. Obasi CaniceN3,460,366.64
4. Anyanwu F. N. N150,336.00
5. Emenalo TheresaN3,058,592.00
6. John SundayN2,320,624.00
7. Ajaegbo E. O.N2,298,910.34
8. Ekedere EuniceN32,490,016.00
The first thing I did when I read the publication was to immediately call up our Pension Payroll master list derived from the pension verification exercise during Ihedioha’s regime. This list has the names of all pensioners that received pension payments, their BNV and the amounts they were paid monthly. As at December 2019, the names on the list that were paid was 25,244. I did a thorough search and came out with the table below, which I will explain.
The first thing I noticed was that the figures published by vanguard did not add up to N330m, what it summed up to is N114.5m, I wonder where the rest of the figures are.
Out of the 8 names they published, No 5 on their list – Emenalo Theresa is not on our verified pensioners list and did not receive any payment during Ihedioha administration.
No 2 on their list – Njoku Damian appeared twice on the verified Ihedioha list and both names earned N1,141.73 and N5,022.57 per month or N13,700.76 and N60,270.84 per annum respectively.
No 4 on their list Anyanwu F. N. is not on the Ihedioha verified list. However, to make allowance for any doubt, I checked any names near that in our verified list and I found two names Anyanwu Nobert and Anyanwu Ndidi (these names could be Anyanwu N without the F). Nobert earned N23,056.37 per month and N276,676.44 per annum while Ndidi earned N7,160.67 per month and N85,928.04 per annum.
No 6 on their list John Sunday is not on the Ihedioha verified list and again to give them benefit of the doubt I went for any names near that and I found Johnson Sunday who earned N12,518.13 per month and N150,217.56 per annum.
No 8 on their list Ekedere Eunice is not on the Ihedioha verified list, the closest name to that on our list is Eke Eunice who earns N125,039.05 per month and N1,500,468.60 per annum.
In effect 4 out of the 8 names the State Government published are not verified pensioners. The other 4 names verified have their entitlements listed in my table above and you all can see that it is nowhere near what the state Government is publishing. The total entitlement of all I listed including the 3 names that are not ascertained amounts to a mere N5,086,219.20 (Five million and eighty six thousand Naira) as against the N330m claimed by the State Government.
There is no doubt that there was pension fraud before the Ihedioha administration took over, hence the painstaking pension verification exercise we did. All pension payments during Ihedioha time were made electronically through BVN direct to the Bank account of Pensioners. Nobody on the verified list earns up to N1m per month. We also reported after the verification exercise that the Pension Payroll we met was dubious, that there were double loaded accounts and that we saved over N200m per month after the exercise. I don’t know why the State Government will keep going back to mention problems we identified and took care of, as if it happened during the Ihedioha administration.
I mentioned in my earlier rebuttal to Hon Emelumba’s disparaging remarks on our pension reforms that the verified Pension Payroll is domiciled in the Server in the Pension Office in the Accountant General’s office. I wonder why the State Government have refused to use it. I also mentioned that the Pension Consultant during Ihedioha’s administration has on different occasions sent the database to Officials of the State Government including their current Consultant, why won’t they study the list before making spurious allegations. Again I forwarded the verified master list to the Chairman of Nigerian Union of Pensioners Imo State – Sir J B Ugochukwu, I wonder why he has remained silent when these unfounded allegations were being made in his presence. I am encouraging the pensioners whose names are mentioned in this article to speak up to clear their names, let them print out their accounts for the 5 months Ihedioha paid them so that all can see that these allegations are baseless.
There are no skeletons in the cupboard of Ihedioha’s Pension Reforms.
Sir Chime Aliliele
Former Executive Chairman, Imo State Pension Commission
in the Rebuild Imo Administration.