Abia Governor Alex Otti is playing hanky-panky with facts and figures of Abia State financial records, says former  Commissioner of  Trade & Investment Chief John Okiyi Kalu

In an elaborate post on his social media arm, Kalu stated discrepancies between statements made by Gov Otti at various public/media releases and published financial records which Otti had appended his signature to.

Accordingly,  Kalu posted thus on his social media arm:

On Thursday, 29th February 2024, Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, was interviewed during the Politics Today program anchored by Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television regarding the Aba IPP that was commissioned on Monday, 26th February 2024 among other issues.

Equity Controversy In Aba IPP

SEUN: Your predecessor, Dr Ikpeazu, did he play any major role in the success of this (Aba IPP) project?

Governor Otti:

“Well, it's difficult for me to say. I'm aware that he (Ikpeazu) joined the Geometric management team sometime in 2018/2019 to sign a loan agreement of about $50m, part of which was used to settle the dispute between Geometric and EEDC

“But the record available to me does not show that the govt guaranteed that loan. The loan was given on the back of the assests of Geometric, so it's difficult for me to say what other thing he did.

“But I'm also aware that there is an argument going on in the media about 5 per cent investment which would have  equalled $5m dollars which the Abia government is said to have  made into the project

“I do not have any document to that effect and that was not handed to me either, so it's just an argument.

“But I have asked the Commissioner for Finance and others including the Accountant General to go through and find out if there's any truth to that.

“So, other than those two issues, I am not too sure there is any other thing I can say to the best of my knowledge

“Maybe, Geometric will be in a better position to respond specifically to it.”

Fact Check

1. On 23rd June 2023, the Accountant General (AG) of Abia State, Mrs Njum Onyemenam, hired by Governor Alex Otti, compiled, signed and published the 2022 financial report of Abia State with the picture of Governor Alex Otti included to show he vetted the report. As required by law and accounting convention, she swore that all the entries in the report were verified by her to be true and correct. The other official who concurred with her report was the Otti-appointed Commissioner for Finance. 

In that report she listed “5% Geometric Power Aba Ltd Investment Subscription Shares” of N1.41bn paid by the Okezie Ikpeazu administration.

Accountants all over the world agree that she must have seen the relevant source documents before making and signing off on that entry. Otherwise, her professional competence becomes highly questionable.

2. Evidence has emerged that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu through his then Secretary to State Government, Barr Chris Ezem delivered a comprehensive handover document that included the Aba IPP subscription under the Ministry of Finance on May 29th 2023. In addition to the handover note, the then new administration of Alex Otti also received brand new latest edition of Lexus Jeep and Toyota Hilux Vehicle from the Ikpeazu administration to enable smooth take off of the new government. 

Once an item is listed in a handover note all the Governor needs to do is to ask the relevant ministry (Finance) to provide the details left in their file. Handover notes do not mean that the outgoing regime will attach or specifically deliver the detailed document for all entries  to the incoming one, as wrongly claimed by Otti’s aides,  because of the assumption of continuity in government as represented by the ever present civil service structures. 

3. A day before the appearance  of Governor Alex Otti on Channels TV on 29th February 2024, he received an official letter from Prof Barth Nnaji confirming that the administration of Okezie Ikpeazu had investment in the Aba IPP on behalf of Ndi Abia. Part of the letter which was captioned “Abia State Equity Investment in Aba IPP” reads as follows:

“Thank you again for all your assistance during the commissioning of the Aba integrated power project.

"As a follow up to our discussion regarding the Abia State Equity Investment in Aba IPP, I was under the impression that it was included in the handover note to your administration. Having found out from you that it was not, I hereby formally provide clarity to the investment for your government’s records.

“In 2020 when Geometric Power needed to raise additional equity in order to complete the funding gap for the Aba IPP, the Abia State government under Governor Ikpeazu’s administration indicated an interest to take 5% equity at the base nominal rate of $1m for 1% equity in the project. This is the standard rate for all the investors. The government officials insisted that they would pay for the equity in Naira and at the CBN rate of N395 to $1 for a total amount of N1.97bn at that time. However, the government paid only N1.4bn for 3.5% equity position in the project.”


Governor Alex Otti lied on television and misled the public on what he knew about the contribution of his predecessor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, to the Aba IPP project.

Debt Inherited By Otti’s Administration

In the same interview, Governor Alex Otti stated that he inherited a debt of N192bn from the Ikpeazu administration anda wondered what he did with the loan.

Fact check:

While the N192bn stated by Governor Alex Otti is false as documentary evidence points to a total of about N168bn, that figure  includes all outstanding debts and loan obligations of Abia State since the state was created in August 1991. It also includes debts inherited from the old Imo State, outstanding wages, pensions and gratuities from 2002 to May 2023 and other obligations not necessarily incurred by the administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.

On the flip side, the Ikpeazu administration did not leave any commercial bank loan debt to his successor as his administration liquidated all the loans including TODs before its exit on May 29th 2023.

In addition, the Government of Okezie Ikpeazu handed over a facility of $50m obtained from RAAMP for construction of 500km of rural roads to the Otti administration. It was the Ikpeazu administration that paid the counterpart fund for the facility which the administration of Alex Otti is now accessing.

Furthermore, the Ikpeazu administration negotiated a $115m AfDB facility principally for storm water and waste management. Ikpeazu’s administration included some key road projects like reconstruction of Port Harcourt Road Aba in the bouquet as support to aid waste evacuation. The Otti administration is currently spending this fund whereas the Ikpeazu administration that finalized the facility never drew one dollar from it.


The Ikpeazu administration suspended the reconstruction of Port Harcourt Road project in 2022 when it received news that AfDB was ready to commence implementation of the deal. Unknown to them, Dr Alex Otti had gone back to the bank to demand that they delay the commencement till after the 2023 election. 

It will be recalled that when the Federal Minister of Finance, Wale Edun addressed State House correspondents in 2023, shortly after a Federal Executive Council meeting, on the approval  given to Alex Otti’s government request to draw down on the $115m facility he said, "this an inherited financing scheme. Essentially, IT WAS PROCESSED BEFORE THIS ADMINISTRATION CAME IN, AND SO IT HAD BEEN INHERITED. Essentially, it is concessional borrowing, around 4.2% per annum by the Abia State Government through the Federal Government. The funds are to be lent to Abia State and they are for waste management and rehabilitation of roads in Umuahia and Aba, in particular. This was approved".


 Governor Alex Otti was economical with the truth when he blamed his predecessor for the “N192bn total debt of Abia State” he inherited. Indeed, his own administration has proposed to borrow over N380bn in one financial year, 2024, whereas he is also the key beneficiary of the state's foreign loans obtained by the Ikpeazu administration. 

It has also been verified that all the recent projects flagged off in rural areas of Abia by the Otti administration are being funded with the $50m RAAMP facility left behind by former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. The much trumpeted waste management project of Otti’s administration including the reconstruction of Port Harcourt Road Aba is also being funded through the $115m facility earlier mentioned. 

Long term observers of Abia Politics will recall that while then Governor Okezie Ikpeazu fought hard to source the AfDB facility to help the state, Dr Alex Otti did everything possible to ensure that the facility was not availed the administration including writing petitions to Dr Akinwumi Adesina-led AfDB, Federal Ministry of Finace, and the National Assembly. Senator Shehu Sani who represented Kaduna Central Constituency between 2015 and 2019 is still alive to testify to what happened at the National Assembly where he vehemently supported the application from Abia State. 

While other states that applied  and got approval at that same time with Abia have long applied the development facility to their states, Dr Alex Otti boasted in an interview at his Nvosi village home as published on the 1st of November 2022 by Vanguard Newspaper with the caption “Why I Stopped Abia’s Bid for AfDB Loan“ said, "I stopped the loan, it is not an accusation. I stopped the loan and documented it. I said they can’t have the loan…”

Today, Governor Alex Otti is utilizing the same loan without giving credit to his predecessor who made it possible for the state to obtain it. 


It is still the efforts of former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu that is funding development projects in Abia State today. Details from Governor Alex Otti’s 2024 budget confirm that without question. Otti copied and pasted the road and sanitation  projects Dr Ikpeazu listed in the RAAMP and AfDB projects and inserted in the Appropriation Act without even doing due diligence to identify which of the listed projects were done before now with state funds completely or in part. For instance, the Abiriba Junction-Etitiama Road project in the 2024 Appropriation was already done and dusted by Governor Ikpeazu, yet, Mr Alex Otti allocated huge funds for it in the 2024 budget. 

Amazingly, the same Governor Alex Otti that complained of high debt overhang he inherited has within 9 months reportedly borrowed N100m from Access Bank and N45m from Union bank (allayed without legislative approval) for yet-to-be-made-public-purpose at a time the state is receiving record inflows from FAAC.