Youths Reveal How Desopadec Commissioner Squandered N60m On Frivolities
BEVERLY HILLS, January 12, (THEWILL) – Revelations have emerged on how a commissioner at the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, benefited from the controversial youths’ empowerment fund released by the commission last year.
Reliable sources told THEWILL that the commissioner representing Ughelli South, Udu and Warri Urhobos in the commission, Mr. Amos Itihwe allegedly squandered N60m meant for projects and youths’ empowerment in his area on frivolities.
The embattled commissioner, who was recently held hostage in Ughelli by irate youths questioning the misused of the money, was said to have used part of fund to erect duplex buildings and buy exotic cars.
THEWILL recalls that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had on Tuesday summoned the Chairman and management of DESOPADEC over series of allegations of financial impropriety and embezzlement which had plagued the oil commission in recent times.
Sources said that hundreds of youths who had investigated how Itihwe allegedly misappropriated the funds meant for the youths, on Wednesday stormed his residence in Ughelli in a bid to hold him accountable for the fund.
The aggrieved youths alleged that the commissioner bluffed them when they sought his attention over the misused of funds because he had reportedly settle few youths who he felt could raise dust over the whereabouts of the large chunk of money.
They alleged that a whooping sum of N40 million which was meant for his mandate areas on assumption of office was allegedly diverted into his private pocket for personal projects.
One of the aggrieved youths, who partake in the protest at Itihwe’s residence on Wednesday, said; “Immediately the N40 million was released to Itihwe, he embarked on a spending spree. As we talk, he is erecting a multi-million naira twin duplexes at Oviri-Ogor near Ughelli with the speed of light. He now drives a multi-million naira SUVs accompanied by retinue of mobile policemen.”
The protesters said that the controversial N20m Christmas package meant for youths empowerment was also misappropriated by Itihwe alongside one of his aides identified as Precious Eshenake and some youths in his mandate area in December.
Another youth leader from Otu-Jeremi who also preferred anonymity told THEWILL that they are already consulting a lawyer to prepare a petition against Itihwe to the EFCC and ICPC over the alleged diversion of the N60m naira.
“We are already putting up a petition to EFCC and ICPC to come and look into the issue. In case of the N20 million, he selected few youths in the area and pocketed the rest money.
“He gave a former councilor N30,000, I got N30,000 while few of his boys laundering his image on Facebook also got N30,000 while the chunk of the money he diverted for personal use. His twin duplexes at Oviri-Ogor started in less than four months into his appointment”.
Itihwe, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ughelli South, was reportedly compensated with the appointment by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his support as Ughelli South coordinator of the Delta Political Vanguard during the campaign period for Okowa’s election.
Efforts to reach him for comment proved abortive as neither calls nor text messages to his mobile phones were picked or replied.