Chinasa Nwaneri, the Special Adviser on Special Duty to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has been accused of building a multi-million mansion in the state capital, Owerri, after allegedly diverting public funds.
SaharaReporters gathered that the building which started a few months back is suspected to have been executed with suspected public funds.
It was learned that the sprawling edifice sitting on about 6000 sqm is situated at 1st Avenue, Capitol layout, new Owerri behind the Imo State House of Assembly.
It is estimated to be worth millions of Naira and is predicted to increase in value upon its completion.
“The question is how a government appointee can afford such opulence. Can government anti-graft agencies investigate the source of funds used to acquire such a valuable asset? This property is located at 1st Avenue, Capitol layout, new Owerri, behind the Imo state House of Assembly. I have so many people working there,” a source told SaharaReporters.
Bank records showed to SaharaReporters also revealed transactions involving payments from task forces and government agencies under Nwaneri were diverted to personal accounts.
Some of them included the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) and the Imo State Government’s Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO).
A detailed examination of these accounts showed an accumulated sum of over N576,000,000.00 (Five hundred and seventy-six million Naira) received from 2021 up to the present time.
One of the multiple accounts allegedly used by the governor’s aide is said to be held in UBA and belongs to ‘Chinwuike Uche Chikwere’ with account number 2127182467.
Other accounts connected to these activities belong to ‘Orufe Investment Ltd,’ a forex dealing company owned by a friend of Nwaneri, and another in his personal Domiciliary account.
Recently, the governor’s aide was in the news after a member of the House of Representatives, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere released a threatening audio conversation reportedly between them.
In the audio, Nwaneri threatened to imprison Ugochinyere or harm himself.
He had said, “Ugochinyere, I will imprison you. What I want to achieve is just to imprison you. That is what I want to achieve. You are lucky that you did not go to Owerri that day. I will imprison you and you will see it.
“Ugochinyere, I want to achieve it. I want to imprison you. I have never mentioned your name in a bad corner but you decided to go… and call me a criminal. If I did not imprison you, I would harm myself. Ugochinyere, if I do not imprison you, I will harm myself. If you are coming to Owerri tomorrow, I’m waiting for you. I have an expecting charge here with you.
“If I don’t imprison you, I will not be free. You Ugochinyere; I’m waiting for you. It has started. You don’t need a visa to come to Owerri but when you come there, I will imprison you.”
Nwaneri was also alleged to have led thugs who attacked a former governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha in 2021.
Meanwhile, A civil society organization, Imo Accountability for Good Governance (IAGG) has called on anti-graft agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe the governor’s aide.
James Onwubiko, a human rights lawyer and founder of the group in a statement sent to SaharaReporters said an independent investigation has shown that Nwaneri has so many accountability questions to respond to.
The civil society organization accused him of diversion of funds and alleged that the fortunes of the Imo people were mortgaged for personal gains by the governor’s aide and cronies.
“It has come to our attention that Mr. Nwaneri has allegedly established over six illegal Task Forces, each generating significant daily revenue. Bank records have revealed transactions involving payments from these criminal task forces, as well as from government agencies such as the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) and Imo State Government’s Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO).
“A detailed examination of Pape’s account shows an accumulated sum of over N576,000,000.00 (Five hundred and seventy-six million Naira) received from 2021 up to the present time. Additionally, we have identified several accounts connected to these activities, including one held at UBA (Account Number: under the name ‘Chinwuike Uche Chikwere,’ another in Chinasa’s Domiciliary account, and an account belonging to ‘Orufe Investment Ltd,’ a forex dealing company owned by a friend of Mr. Nwaneri. The identities of individuals managing two other accounts discovered during this investigation remain unknown.
“In light of these deeply troubling allegations, we call upon the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to launch a comprehensive financial investigation into Mr. Chinasa Nwaneri’s affairs. We believe that a thorough investigation is essential to uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and good governance that our democracy depends upon.
“We urge Mr. Nwaneri to cooperate fully with these agencies and to voluntarily disclose his financial statements to the public. If he is innocent of any wrongdoing, as he claims, we believe he should have nothing to hide and should welcome an impartial investigation into these allegations.
“Imo Accountability for Good Governance (IAGG) remains committed to promoting accountability, transparency, and the rule of law in Imo State. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and advocate for justice and accountability on behalf of the people of Imo State.”
Calls put across by SaharaReporters to Nwaneri to comment on the allegations were not picked up nor returned. A WhatsApp message sent to his line was also not responded to.