Notably, an FIR has been registered at Imphal police station against six individuals including O Ibobi in connection with the misuse of Rs 185.79 crore deposited at Manipur Development Society (MDS). But Ibobi has asserted that enlistment of his name in the FIR is a deliberate attempt to tarnish his image.
“Invoking criminal laws without giving any evidence of wrongdoing is rather unfortunate”, Ibobi said.
The five other individuals listed in the FIR are former MDS Project Director Y Ningthem, former MDS Chairmen DS Poonia, O Ibobi, PC Lawmkunga, O Nabakishore and Administrative Officer S Ranjit.
The FIR bearing number 244(9) 2017 was registered under Section 420/406/120-B IPC and 13(2) PC Act 1999.
The FIR was registered after the Planning Department lodged a complaint to the Imphal West Superintendent of Police to take up a case based on the report furnished by the Vigilance Commission.
Speaking to media persons at his Babupara residential quarters today, ex-Chief Minister O Ibobi who is now the Opposition leader stated that truth cannot be concealed for long; even if it takes sometime, truth and facts will always emerge before the public.
“Registration of FIR against me on the charge of misuse of fund and criminal conspiracy just because I served as MDS Chairman for a short period sounds like a contrivance. It was me as the Chief Minister who in consultation with the then Chief Secretary directed the State Vigilance Commission to enquire into misuse of MDS funds”, Ibobi stated.
Due preparations were also made to hand over the MDS case to an investigation agency after receiving a report from the Vigilance Commission. But the same arrangement could not executed due to the intervention by the State Assembly election.
Ibobi clarified that he served as MDS Chairman for a very brief period and never embezzled any MDS fund nor counter-signed any cheque.
“I have no grudge if the MDS scam is investigated by CBI or Enforcement Directorate or any Special Investigation Team (SIT). In fact, I prefer thorough investigation by such a professional agency”, Ibobi said.
He assured full cooperation to any investigation agency towards establishment of truths and facts.
“If I’m found guilty after investigation, I would spend the rest of my life in jail. No one is above law”, Ibobi.
Maintaining that he did now commit any wrongdoing when he served as MDS Chairman, Ibobi dismissed all the charges labelled against him by the BJP-led coalition Government as baseless and fabricated. On being enquired if he suspects any political conspiracy behind the incumbent Government’s approach to the MDS issue, Ibobi said that the Government can easily ascertain from the banks where MDS has its accounts whether any cheque counter-signed by him was used in withdrawing money.
“It is rather unfortunate that an FIR has been registered and criminal laws have been invoked against me without giving any evidence of wrongdoing. People may judge whether the Government’s step is a political conspiracy or not” Ibobi said.
On being enquired as to why he obtained pre-arrest bail if he was not involved in the MDS scam, Ibobi asserted that he took legal aid to save his reputation for it would be disastrous and his name would be ruined without redemption had he been arrested without giving any evidence of wrongdoing.
“I sought pre-arrest bail not because I’m guilty. I firmly believe I’m not culpable on any count in the whole MDS issue”, Ibobi asserted in a relaxed and confident tone.
Source: The Sangai Express