Emeka Ihedioha, Governor of Imo State, has defended his appointment of Chika Odionyenma, who was recently indicted by the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for alleged Internet fraud, into his inaguration committee.
In a statement issued by Izuchukwu Akwarandu, Special Assistant to the governor on New Media, on Monday, Governor Ihedioha insisted that Odionyenma had no fraud case against his name anywhere in the world.
Odionyenma was named by the FBI as one of the 77 Nigerians suspected to have engaged in an Internet scam.
Governor Ihedioha also debunked speculations that the suspected fraudster sponsored his election into the Imo State Government House.
According to him, he attended the programmes organised by Odionyenma as they were empowerment programmes which helped better the lives of Imo citizens.
The statement partly read: “He (Akwarandu) is an Imo State son and it was in that capacity that the governor attended the programmes that he organised. Moreover, those programmes were meant to empower the people and you know that the governor is a man of the people.
“It is important to note that as of the time the governor appointed him into the inauguration committee, there was no fraud case hanging around his (Odionyenma) neck anywhere in the world.”
The statement added that Odionyenma’s alleged fraud case is a personal one in which the governor of the state is not directly or indirectly involved in.
The suspect is a member of a “Committee for Recovery of Looted Property in Imo”, set up by Governor Ihedioha to recover assets suspected to have been illegally taken by former officeholders.