The Imo State Government said it has recovered looted Nsu ceramic and tiles industry equipment in a warehouse widely believed to be owned by ex-Goverrnor Rochas Okorocha.
Imo State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem, who was the leader of the team that went to the warehouse situated along Owerri/Aba Road, revealed that the equipment were warehoused with other public-owned facilities.
According to him, a molder was one of the items that were looted for establishing a private ceramic and tiles company by Okorocha.
The Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry which is located in Ehime Mbano was founded by the administration of late Sam Mbakwe, old Imo state first civilian governor.
Ebegbulem said: “The said 55-feet by 200-length warehouse is adjacent another warehouse where the then Emeka Ihedioha administration discovered some public properties said to be owned by the state.
”There was a time the administration of Hope Uzodimma raised the alarm on the equipment of Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industries looted by the administration of Rochas Okorocha. That was after some patriotic citizens of the state raised the alarm on these looted Imo properties kept by the Okorochas along Owerri/Aba Road.
”We followed up to find out the truth and with what we have seen in Okorocha’s warehouse; there is a plan by Okorocha to set up a ceramic factory with government-owned properties as a personal factory.
“Information we have gathered from those guarding the warehouse is that sometimes, their (Okorocha’s) people come here to pick some items and sell them off.
”However, some of the equipment we are looking for are here and we have come to take possession of the Imo properties and anybody we see here will blame himself. We have taken over the government properties for the good of Imolites based on their demands.
”Some of the public properties discovered included equipment of the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry set up by the then government of Sam Mbakwe as the industry established for Imo people have been personalized.
”We also found street light equipment and their components, traffic light accessories, artificial tree plants were all found in the large warehouse owned by Okorocha.
“Also, a molder from the Nsu tiles and ceramics and other components of the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry were discovered to be in the warehouse and now we have taken over.”
In his reaction to the development, Okorocha said the items recovered by the government were cartons of tiles.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha added: ”It was interesting to read that what the Commissioner said they recovered were street light accessories and cartons of ties. He didn’t even disclose how he arrived at the conclusion that those items were owned by the government.”
He however called on the government to reveal or publish the proof of ownership of every item they claimed they had recovered.