Magazine Fraud: Former ALGON Chairman speaks on Edeoga’s N2b fraud indictment report

A former Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Enugu State Chapter, has disclosed that the two billion naira magazine fraud report against the sacked Labour Party gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Chijioke Edeoga, remains an indispensable fact in the public domain.

Recall that last week, the news making the rounds on the internet following an investigation carried out by Mainstream media had it that Edeoga had indulged in a financial fraud with the LGA News to the tune of N2 billion during his days as a Commissioner for Local Government Matters and Ministry of Environment in Enugu State, respectively.

In an interview conducted at his private residence, the ex-ALGON Chairman, who does not want his name in print because he was not authorized to speak by the current Chairman of the association, said that Edeoga, during the said period succeeded in exploiting the local government chairmen on the notion that his closeness with the seat of power accorded him the privilege to decide who should be returned for a second term or not. This, he did using a media outlet known as LGA News, a media publication which was set up by the state government to communicate the monthly activities of Local government chairmen to the people of Enugu State.

Speaking further, he revealed that it is a crime for any chairman not to remit the sum of N1.5m every 26th day of every month, even if it meant borrowing from the bank. This he said must be delivered in a Ghana-must-go bags to avoid being traced by any of the anti-graft agencies should they deposit it in the bank.

Recalling the ordeals of the LG Chairmen under Edeoga’s watch as the Commissioner for Local Government Matters, the ex-LG boss admitted that they were all subservient to the whims and caprices of the Commissioner who saw himself as the political generalsimo and a demigod. According to him, Edeoga commanded the greatest loyalty as nobody would want himself to be used as a guinea pig experiment, a word he constantly used whenever he wanted to issue a threat to the LG Chairmen.

When asked if the governor of the state was involved in this financial malfeasance, the ex-ALGON boss answered in the negative, saying they had to do the bidding of the controversial Labour Party candidate because of his threat that he would deal with erring members when he became governor. Stating that Mr Edeoga told them that the state government has nothing to do with the money being remitted but will be used for the smooth running of the media house and the LGA News.

“The media was awash with the news of what Chijioke Edeoga did in the Ministry of Local Government Matters last week. This whistleblow by the Mainstream Investigative Journalism report has seen many happy that among the Nigerian press, there are still people with the burning desire to be the watchdog of the society. No matter what, truth can never remain hidden.

“Edeoga looted the local government council chairmen dry. His tenure as the commissioner in charge of the ministry was riddled with all manner of corrupt practices but who are we to talk or agitate when we were deceived that he was in the good book of the governor because of fraternal bond. He wielded enormous power to the extent that the council of LG bosses in the state did have a special package for him at the end of every year aside the N1.5m we did contribute every month which he said was for the production of LGAs News,” the former Chairman added.

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