Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has replied claims made by former Governor, Ikedi Ohakim that judges are being owed sixteen months salary in Imo State.
Ohakim had vowed to lead a protest in March 2018 in Owerri if the salaries of judges are not paid in the state. He said Okorocha is owing Imo judges for 18 months pointing out that some of them have died and become ill because they are denied their entitlements.
In response to the claims, Okorocha in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemedo said the State government is not owing judges as it is the duty of the National Judicial Commission, NJC to pay judges.
Part of the statement states “We make hay to say this. If after being governor of the state for four years, the former governor didn’t know that the state government does not pay Judges’ Salary then something must have gone wrong somewhere and it is quite unfortunate. The National Judicial Commission (NJC) pays Judges’ Salaries.
“ If the NJC handles the salary of Judges, then, the former governor was either distributing falsehood or has become overwhelmed by Governor Okorocha’s achievements that he didn’t know what to say again against the governor and his administration than to resort to jokes”
The statement continued “We are always painstaking when handling issues concerning prominent citizens of the state like Chief Ohakim who had also governed the State, otherwise we would have made certain calls. And in any case, he didn’t run an organized government and didn’t therefore know who was paying who.
“Let Chief Ohakim publish his achievements for the four years he was governor, with their locations, or publish all the achievements of the PDP governments in the State from 1999 to 2011, or publish the achievements of all those who had governed the state from 1976 when the state was created to 2011 when Rochas came on board and let Rochas publish his own achievements. Let there be issues and not petty lies.
“Chief Ohakim also ran for the governorship Primary of his party in 2015 and came third, which means his party members still have reservations over his tenure as governor from 2007 to 2011” the statement concluded.