A former federal and old Imo State contractor, Dr Ako Obioma has appealed to the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti to launch an investigation into the purported ownership of the state Government House by an individual, as well as probe to unravel who receives rentage on the said property.
In an open letter addressed to the Governor, Obioma who is the Chairman of Daman Group, said the property being described as a rented apartment (Government House) was owned by the former Eastern Region and was used by late Dr Michael Okpara and Col. Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu as Governor’s Lodge.
The said property was, according to him ceded to old Imo State and subsequently Abia State upon creation in 1991.
He expressed shock about the rumour being peddled that the property is now being owned by a certain individual seeking for immediate investigation.
“I was quite astonished to read your comments on the need to complete the new Government House because the present Government House is a RENTED property.
“Please I write to advice that you investigate thoroughly at what point our Abia Government House Umuahia became rented property and who is the owner.
“It may interest you to know that at the creation of Abia State in August 1991 and swearing-in of then Group Captain Frank Ajobena (retd) as first Military Administrator, I was privileged to have been introduced to him by powers that be then and as a major contractor in the federal and old Imo State. So, that relationship gave me the privilege as his closest Abia civilian and my company was first to be awarded contract by the regime”, he stated.
Obioma said further, “After his swearing-in, Group Capt. Frank Ajobena (retd) remained in Douglas House Owerri for some days to allow for complete clean-up of the present Govt House Umuahia before resuming work at Umuahia.
“This present Government House was then a big two (2) bedroom duplex owned by the former Eastern Region which was used by late Dr Michael Okpara and Col. Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu as Governor’s Lodge, with Enugu as headquarters before it was ceded to Imo State and subsequently to Abia State upon its creation.
“Because it was the seat of power of the then Eastern region, all the land surrounding it was owed by Eastern Region government as government reserved area with the back as forestry without encroachment until the civilian regime of the late Chief Sam Mbakwe, when few lands were allocated to defunct NPP political cronies.
“on assumption of office, Ajobena ordered revocation of those lands allocated in the GRA, especially those within the Government House environment.
“Among those critical ones were the one allocated to the late Air Cmdr. Emeka Omeruah, where he built the uncompleted duplex which now serves as the Governor’s Office. The second most critical were the land opposite Cmdr. Emeka Omeruah, which were allocated to Hon (Eze) Albert Uwanamodo, who represented Umuahia in the Imo State House of Assembly under the late Chief Sam Mbakwe, where he was constructing (4 nos) twin duplex which were at DPC levels.
“Due to the personalities involved which included his boss (Omeruah), Frank Ajobena ordered that the cost of these properties and structures on it be evaluated which was done and the owners were completely paid off.
“Frank Ajobena now awarded contracts for the reconstruction of the Governor’s Lodge and Construction of the banquet Hall to Phomo Nig Ltd, which were completed as you have them today.
“He awarded contract for completion of the Emeka Omeruah building to serve as Governor’s office, construction of (8 nos) duplexes on the Chief Uwanamodo structure to serve as Governor’s Guest Houses and other structures which my companies were also beneficiaries too.
“While myself and another contractor gifted the building and furnishing of the Chapel to Government House.
“In the recent years that passed, I had taken this insinuation as rumour until your latest pronouncement, hence Abians will like to be detailed on how our property of over (60) years has become rented apartment and who are the landlords receiving the rent.
“Please His Excellency, where you find more ambiuities in my explanation, you may invite me for more detailed explanation.”