By Onyekachi Eze
The Interim Management Committee of the Imo State Transport Company, ITC, may be under serious legal battle any time soon, following a perceived libelous utterances against a former Commissioner in the State.
Angered by the incessant attack, anchored on maligning names addressed towards him, the former Commissioner for Transport in Imo State, during the Rescue Mission administration of Senator Rochas Okorocha, the embattled ex Commissioner, Prince Lasbery Okaforanyanwu is poised to seeking a redress in the Law Court.
Recall that recently, Okaforanyanwu’s private transport Company, “Mass Transport Network Limited, MTN” situated at Ugwu Orji, Owerri, has been under watch by the incumbent Management of ITC, allegedly led by the Chairman, Mr. Onyekachi Ibezim.
As if that was not enough, some of the vehicles said to belong to Mass Transport Network, were towed to ITC premises, with the believe that they belonged to the State owned transport company.
However, the towing prey didn’t stop, without name calling by both parties, especially that of the ITC leadership, as they supposedly labelled Okaforanyanwu to have stolen some ITC vehicles, in one of their publications.
Against this backdrop, the CEO of Mass Transport Network Limited, Prince Lasbery Okaforanyanwu has vowed to take it up with them in a legal means.
In an interview with Trumpeta Correspondent yesterday in his office, Okaforanyanwu said he was going to pursue the ITC Chairman, Ibezim, legally.
He added that he has tolerated the unprintable name calling against his hard earned reputation, hence the necessity to seek a redress in the Law Court to clear his name.
Okaforanyanwu disclosed that the vehicles being towed and claimed by ITC Management were all duely acquired by him, pointing out that he has the receipts and documents belonging to all the vehicles they are claiming.
“Those vehicles belong to me, and my Lawyer has written them, giving them time frame to return all my vehicles they took”.
The Oru East administrator stated that what the ITC Chairman is doing is to stiffen the smooth operation of Mass Transport Network, during this Christmas season supposed to be the heat of all Transport sector.
He continued, “I have sent particulars of the vehicles, indicating that those vehicles are all clearly mine. I have the receipts and documents. It neither belong to ITC nor the State Government”.
When asked how he opened his private company, Okaforanyanwu explained,
“I didn’t open Mass Transport Company with either the ITC money or State fund. Like I have said so many times, the Management of ITC was concessioned to my Company, “Oma Oil and Industries Limited”, with the agreement of paying in #20m to the State coffers monthly, with the payment of staff salaries”.
“I must tell you honestly, I paid #20m to the Government monthly, and paid workers their salaries which was almost #9m monthly. I did all that religiously, and after all the monthly expenses, at times I made my own money”.
Speaking further, the CEO Mass Transport added that as a transporter before then, he managed ITC prudently, and happen to buy his own vehicles which he added to ITC franchise, which, according to him, made him meet up to all the challenges, as the ITC Chairman.
Furthermore, Prince Lasbery disclosed that within the period he was in ITC, Government didn’t buy any single vehicle for the company.
“I won the confidence of the Franchise Owners due to my transparency and accountability. Over 85% of the vehicles in ITC were owned by private people (Franchise Owners). When I came in, I opened an account with the Franchise Owners, comprising of four signatories. Three out of the four were the Executive of the Franchise owners, and I made them four. Every dime realised then was paid into that account, which made them to invest in ITC, as they got their entitlements at the end of every month without hassles”.
Also Commenting, the embattled Okaforanyanwu highlighted that the three vehicles they towed yesterday from the mechanic in Mgbidi, Oru West LGA, were bought outrightly with his hard earned money.
He told our correspondent that while he bought one of the buses from an Omuma kinsman (Sunday Orobe) who is yet to get his full payment due to the faulty nature of the vehicle, the other two were bought from far away Benin in an auction sale of Jehova Witness church.
More so, he said all evidence to the right of ownership are still intact, adding that for the auction sale where he bought the other two vehicles, a serving worker with ITC gave him the notice, where he bought the other two vehicles.
“Whoever that is saying I stole ITC vehicles should rather have his heads examined. All these lies against me are all from the pit of hell, though in public service, some people chose to be sycophantic in order to please their principals. I don’t know who the Ibezim Onyekachi is, but whether he was sent by the Government or to impress the Government, whichever one, let him know that he will be held responsible for every libelous utterances or false accusations made by him against me or my company”.
Also, he fumed that he left ITC with his own vehicles he put on Franchise, just like every other Franchise owner, reiterating that he only left ITC with what rightly belong to him.
“This is pure infringement on my right, it is a political vendetta. I don’t know reason for all the attack, but let him know that there is life after Government. I am going to pursue him legally. He has called me many unprintable names and I must seek redress to clear my name”, Prince Lasbery Okaforanyanwu asserted.