Edwin Clark: Delta PDP faction writes EFCC over failed contracts
A faction of Delta State Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Friday lodged a petition against former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark and a company associated with him – Panama Construction Company at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over their alleged failure to execute contracts worth billions of naira.
After leading a peaceful protest of the group to EFCC, Chief Alex Ikpeazu (State Secretary) dropped the petition at the Commission, highlighting the various contracts abandoned by Chief Clark's company after collecting the necessary mobilization fee from the State government.
In the petition dated June 22, 2013 and addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Larmode, the petitioners alleged that 'Panama Construction Company, located at 5 Swamp Road Warri and owned by Chief Edwin Clark characteristically abandoned the N1.4 billion Reclamation/Shore Protection job at Amazama, rivers State given to it by the Ministry of Niger Delta even though they have been heavily mobilized to the tune of N215 m on December 31, 2011.'
He also said: 'Similarly, Panama Construction Ltd, was awarded a 10.3km Aladja-Isaba Road Project in Delta State in 2006 for N595 million and surprisingly seven years after, no meaningful job has been done and as at June 3, 2013, Chief Clark is asking for further variation to drag the value of the project he has since abandoned to over N1 billion.
'In one of his recent letters to Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Chief Clark raised sentiment about similar projects abandoned by other discredited Delta leaders, who succeeded in blackmailing the government to abnormally inflate the values of their contracts to over N1billion.'
The petition is also to be served on President Goodluck Jonathan, the attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Senate President David Mark, Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta for necessary actions.
Other members of the forum who endorsed the petition include Chief Edem Onah-Ndokwa (Community leader); Chief Joe Utomi (former Chairman, Aniocha South Local Government; Chief Toni Uti (former Chairman of Ndokwa East Local Government); Chief Chukwuma Dafe; Mr. Jeff Azagba (former Chairman of Ndokwa West Local Government); and Madam Bridget Ugbebor.
The rest are Chief J.M.O Orido; Chief T.A Oduaran; Dr. Mallam Obi [former state Chairman of PDP Delta State]; Chief Bosin Ebikeme (pioneer Commissioner for Transport, Delta State); Chief Sunny Omatseye (former Chiarman, Warri South Local Government); and Ekenwan Akwagbe, respectively.
The petition, which is a counter to the earlier one filed against the minister by a faction of the forum loyal to Clark urged the Commission to discountenance all the allegations raised in that petition as they are unfounded and borne out of malice.
The petition reads in part: 'Sir, the intention of the signatories to the petition, most of whom, belonged to a faction of the Delta elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, was laced with malice as exemplified in the spurious insinuation about the background of Elder Orubebe and unverifiable claims about the activities of the Minister and the Ministry.
'We are worried that some self-acclaimed elders could degenerate to ridiculous level to fabricate blatant falsehood to achieve notorious intention of destroying a patriotic public officer to achieve premeditated goals.
'We wonder how the elders, who claimed to be knowledgeable were not aware that the Ministers' quarters were out-rightly monetized by President Obasabjo Administration.
'It is therefore in the public domain that subsequent Ministers after Obasanjo Administration were compelled to source for alternative arrangement for accommodation.
'How can any right thinking person claim that Orubebe moved out from non-existing government property which was officially allocated to him?
'How does sitting a development project in the community of public officer translate into economic crime? This tells any discerning mind that the petition was designed to achieve ulterior motives other than unsolicited and self-imposed desire to join EFCC to fight corruption.
'Consequently, we the undersigned, as foundation members of Delta State elders, Leaders and Stakeholders forum have watched with disgust, the endless vilification of the pillar of this forum- Elder Godsday Orubebe- the incumbent Minister of the Niger-Delta by persons usurping the goodwill of this great political group.
'That it has been suspected that some resentful members of this forum who are in the payroll of some gubernatorial aspirants in Delta State were the first to invent a story that Orubebe has declared his governorship ambition at a burial ceremony at Ovu, Delta State, thereby setting the stage for further serial attacks to run him down as part of the mandate handed down to them by their benefactors, the overall intention is to pull down Orubebe at all costs ahead of 2015, despite the fact that Orubebe has never indicated interest to run.
'That the decision of a very few persons (from the Clark-led faction) to tarnish Orubebe's image at all cost, has further factionalized the forum to the extent that we have now decided to tell the world the truth and origin of Orubebe's relentless attack.'