CBI questions Ibobi for about 2 hours; ex-CM says will accept any punishment if found guilty
|TMB Report |
IMPHAL: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday questioned former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi for nearly two hours at his Babupara official resident in connection with alleged embezzlement of Rs.332 crore development funds of Manipur Development Society. Ibobi was the Chairman of the Society. The action of the investigating agency came at a time when the BJP led coalition Government in the state is facing a trouble with 3 BJP legislators resigning from their membership of Assembly as well as primary membership of the party and four NPP Ministers, one Independent MLA and one AITC MLA pulling out from the coalition Government some days back. Congress Legislator party leader Okram Ibobi is leading a campaign to topple the BJP Government in the state. On November 20, 2019, CBI registered a case against former CM Okram Ibobi, former chairman of MDS and the then Chief Secretary O Nabakishore, IAS in connection with alleged misappropriation of 332 Cr worth of development funds from MDS after the BJP Government handed over the case to CBI. The agency in its FIR also named former MDS Project Director Y Ningthem, AO S Ranjit Singh, former MDS Chairman DS Poonia, and PC Lawmkunga. Sources said that the CBI team led by Joint Director NM Singh talked with the former CM for nearly two hours and collected bank details, PAN card and Aadhar card copies from the latter. Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi said that he has no objection when anybody involved in misappropriation of fund is punished under the law. He said that he will extend full cooperation to CBI in its investigation. Addressing reporters at SPF’s camp at a location in Imphal West, Ibobi, rebutting media report that he held the chairman post for 7 years, said that he was the chairman of MDS for one year i.e from July 2013 to August 2014. According to the RR of the society, he was not a signatory to any type of financial transaction, sanction of funds in MDS and his job was to preside the annual GB meeting of the society once in a year. Project director was responsible for any type of transaction, sanction of funds. During his tenure as chairman, he neither opened any account in the name of the society nor signed even a single cheque. As such, he was never involved in misappropriation of funds of the society. He, however, said he welcomed such investigation, assuring that he would cooperate with the CBI in the probe. It is the Court that will decide who is wrong or right. I will accept any punishment of law if I am proven guilty, he added.