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Caught in the act…


The suspects

The suspects

OFFICIALS of the Imo Local Government Commission and Pensions Board have arrested a 74- year-old homeopathic doctor, suspected to be a fake retiree, Mr. Uzoma Obiaraije and a 48 -year- old alleged accomplice, Umezurike Ogueri, for being in possession of fake pension Identity Cards (ID), which they presented to the verification team for payment of N133,665.11 monthly pension.

The state governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, who disclosed this at the weekend while addressing some workers and a cross-section of Imo people, said the suspects who hail from Umuokuzu, Awara, Ohaji/Egbema Local Council presented the ID Number 789/14, stating that the duo and others caught in a similar act would be prosecuted accordingly.

The fictitious name Obiaraije allegedly presented is Ukadike Emeka, of Umuezita Umuokanne, Ohaji/ Egbema Local Council at the verification venue at Imo International Conference Centre (IICC), Owerri.

According to the governor, more than 40 per cent of the list of pensioners in the state were allegedly fake, insisting that the verification exercise had exposed many fraudulent activities in the system in which millions of naira had been saved.

The chairman of the board, Chinyere Uwandu, a lawyer, told journalists that she became suspicious of Obiaraije when he initially came and could not fluently answer questions posed to him. “He was asked his name, he could not answer,” she said. The suspect also filled Community Secondary School, Ohaji, in his form instead of Emmanuel College Owerri, as he stated before.

According to her, one Hyginus from Umuokanne sub –treasury, now at large, has been found culpable in organizing the fraudulent activity.

She said despite the threat calls she receives daily, she would not be deterred from carrying out the exercise to its conclusion.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), told The Guardian yesterday that the matter was yet to get to his table, though he had heard about it. “I do not know if they have handed them over to the police yet,” he said.

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