Bertie Smalls was an English armed robber who was active in the 1960s and 70s; a time considered as the golden age of British armed robbery. Smalls committed his first robbery when he was 15. He committed his life to crime. Before 1970, Smalls already had a string of high-profile robberies to his name, and was a respected figure in the London Underworld.

On the 9th of February, 1970, Smalls led a gang from the Wembley Mob, in the East End of London, to rob a Barclays Bank branch in Ilford. The gang successfully got away with £237,736, a record at the time. Most of the team left England on various routes. Smalls, himself, boarded a train to Paris and from there went on to the Costa del Sol, where he read English newspapers looking for police updates about the robbery. The police made an early breakthrough, with an informant naming Smalls as the leader of the gang.

In Imo State of Nigeria, we have our own Bertie Smalls. The Imo State Bertie Smalls uses his pen as his crime weapon. Our Bertie Small is the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly  Chief Benjamin Uwajumogu. I call him Bertie Smalls because of his high stealing of Imo tax payers money as revealed  by his former media aide  Mr Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha .

Iwuoha in his  petition to EFCC  disclosed how fraudulent contracts for road  projects worth billions of naira  were awarded  by Uwajumogu  and  how   the Speaker  used the proceeds of the crime to acquire several properties in Nigeria such as : N500 million naira Asphalt plant along Onitsha road Owerri,15 mansions along Chief Ben Uwajumogu Street, Federal Housing Estate Umuguma Owerri – West LGA,Jasmine Hotels and Suites behind Imo Concorde Hotel valued  at  over N70 million, over 200 plots of land located in Owerri West LGA,N400million naira Mansion at Ihitte /Uboma,2 other mansions  at  Ihitte/Uboma,Mansions in Aba and Umuahia,N760 million naira Crush Rock Industry in Ebonyi State,N500 million naira private hotel in Abuja,N750 million naira private hotel in Lagos. Even the Imo State liason office in Abuja was sold to him for N70 million naira which he has since converted  to his  private hotel.

Two  weeks ago  I   called  on the leadership of the Imo State House of Assembly to constitute a probe panel to  investigate the allegations levelled against Uwajumogu  by  Mr  Iwuoha. Till today, there is  silence from the   House  Members. We are talking about  stealing from public coffers which  is a crime against the progress of  Ndi-Imo yet the House Members are silent. This is making me to wonder  the  kind of persons  we sent to represent us in the House.  I am shaking my head.

Base on the silence of our lawmakers  several groups  have dedicated themselves to lead  a peaceful demonstration in Owerri the capital  city of Imo State  on 17th of March 2014 tagged  “ Benjamin Uwajumogu  Must  Go’’  to press home  demands for   a  panel to be constituted to  investigate this  corruption allegations levelled against the Speaker .The groups have  also commenced the printing of thousands of flyers that will be distributed in Owerri.

It is part of my dream to see Imo State’s public space rid of charlatans, usurpers, pretenders and fly-by-nights. Our Lawmakers  must prove to us that it is not  the entire capitalist members of the stinking Assembly   that are  enmeshed in this orgy of corruption and mass looting of Imo money.

No doubt Uwajumogu  is  in the court of public opinion  but he considers his fraud expose  as a circus show. He has not lost sleep, notwithstanding the ignominy the revelations by  his ex –media aide  has unleashed on him. Reacting to the allegations against him , he boasted, “God has never disappointed me. I sleep well, exercise well and eat well. I don’t allow anything to weigh down my mind. I thank God for creating me. I have lived in mansions and i have owned mansions before i joined politics. It is only paupers and never do wells like Uwadi that commits fraud’’.

But if   Uwajumogu was so rich before he became a member of the Imo House of Assembly as he claimed to be, how come he could not fund his election campaign in 2011 and had to borrow 10.6 million naira for his political campaign from Chief Atan Acholonu (One Armed General) from Ehime Mbano?  How come he had to  borrow  another 11.5 million naira from Chief George Egu in 2011 to also support his political campaign? I am  aware that  Uwajumogu due to his extravagant lifestyles so mismanaged his late  father’s companies, Eastern Comfort Hotel in Umuahia and Amic Foam Factory along Port Harcourt Onitsha Road in the 90’s  and went bankrupt.

This  capitalist  thieving  Speaker, the Bertie Smalls of Imo State  , unless removed from the House  will  always and would always directly loot Imo monies  that ought to be used to better the lot of the vast majority of the  Imo  population. Equally worrisome is that  when he is  not busy with direct looting of the State’s treasury, his only other pre-occupation is the implementation of laws in the house  that has  made  life harder for the overwhelming majority of Imolites.

His   Media Aide Mr  Emeka Ahaneku has been calling me all sorts of names and  threatening  me with all kind of lawsuit and body harm. He is going about making press releases and rejoinders with the swagger of  a  man whose boss  has been nominated   for  the Nigerian Merit Award. He is  pumping  his  fists, nodding his head like a lizard and boasting of how he will crush me once he gets to know my address. i wish to let them  know that I cannot be intimidated to stop speaking my mind as a Nigerian citizen. Section 22 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution allows all citizens open-power of expression and freedom of commenting on both Local, State and National governments issues. international norms on freedom of expression also empowers me to speak out. Ahaneku is dancing the surugede dance without knowing that the surugede is the dance of the spirits.

Only one man in the State has stolen  over  N3billion naira Imo tax payers money and they want me to keep quite. One man has  stolen over N3billion naira  In a state where more than 80 percent of the population do not have access to potable/pipe-borne water supply, and where tertiary institutions in the state have no functional ICT facilities. N3 billion can at least lay some pipes for water supply for some areas in Imo State  where potable pipe-borne water supply has been non-existent for years. The money can even procure farm inputs and equipments for Imo  farmers.  Save us oh  God



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