APC Stalwart Lays Weighty Allegations On Okowa, DTHA
Just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led government in Delta State under the watch of Ifeanyi Okowa, has unsuccessfully battle to pull its head from substantial allegations of financial recklessness and the 2017 blank budget which Okowa and his government have failed to defend, the All Progressives Congress (APC), heavyweight and former National Deputy Chairman of PDP who blew the whistle, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, has leveled yet another allegation of N2 billion misappropriation against Okowa.
Dr Ojougboh, also alleged that the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), has failed to carry out its oversight functions as it has purportedly become a rubber stamp and under the mercy of the governor.
The APC bigwig, gave the bombshell Saturday while addressing a press conference on behalf of APC Committee of Like Mind Leaders at Agbor, Ika South local government area of the state, revealed that in 2016, Okowa, had approached the House and requested the approval of N2 billion structured overdraft facility from First City Monumental Bank Limited to enable the state government bridge the gap in critical expenditure needs of the state which was allegedly granted by the House.
The letter by the governor dated 12th April, 2016, requesting for approval of the said money by the House and obtained by our correspondent reads in part: “Consequently, I wish to inform the Honourable House that First City Monumental Bank Limited has by the letter attached as Annexure I, expressed its willingness to grant the State the overdraft facility as requested”.
It continued: “Access to the loan is, however, subject to certain terms conditions. One of such conditions precedent to the conclusion of the transaction is the resolution of the State House of Assembly granting approval for the State Government to obtain the overdraft facility from the Bank”.
The press statement titled: “The Poor State Of Affairs, Incompetence, Lack Of Capacity And Fraudulent Budget Process In Delta State”, bereted Okowa, for allegedly dipping his ugly, sticky and wicked fingers into the state treasury which he claimed is now in his pocket to run Delta State as out of pocket expenses.
Ojougboh, alleged further that the 2017 Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), budget was nonexistent “and we hereby call on the members from the Oil producing areas to produce the budget for their constituents to peruse”.
According to Ojougboh, “On the 4th of October, I wrote an open letter to Mr President and I gave the DTHA 48 hours to produce a signed copy of the 2017 budget. Ten days after, the DTHA has not been able to produce a copy of a budget that was passed on Wednesday 1st February, 2017.
“The governor of Delta State awarded to himself an approval limit of N250, 000, 000. He then uses four (4) memos to corner One Billion Naira for his personal use. The State Executive Council approved this fraud for him. The Commissioners do not have mandate for any approval whatsoever, not even for Ten Naira (N10). DTHA is aware of this fraud and will do nothing about it. Even in Ibori and Uduaghan Administrations, the Governor’s approval limit was N50 Million Naira. We call on DTHA to quickly address these anomalies otherwise there will be no Delta in 2019.
“The over Twenty Billon refund released by the federal government has vanished. Okowa released 50% as commission to the so called consultant, his family member and converted 50 % to foreign exchange to finance his super ranch in Atlanta Georgia, USA and his housing estate in South Africa.
“The bailout was never used for payment of salary arrears. It was completely stolen by Okowa and family.
“Pensioners have now habitually turned Asaba to protest ground on daily basis. They are owed 2 years arrears. The money meant for their payment has been mismanaged, misappropriated, misapplied and embezzled.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress bidded N2 billion to purchase 51% of Delta Line. But Okowa sold 60% of the company for N160 million, while owing workers 12months salaries. We call on DTHA to annul the sales and investigate this heinous crime.
“The PDP Government is completely incompetent. The State Executive Council has only one man who can be said to be qualified to be in the council i.e David Edebvie. Kingsley Emu is a known undertaker of dead enterprises. The State EXCO cannot deliver and this Government must go now.
“The DTHA has approved over 15 tranches of loans for the personal used of the Governor. We have the copy of the illegal approvals that were accented to without details attached (see copy).
“The Government as constituted lacks capacity to run a State .The PDP Government has failed and impeachment proceedings should commence immediately.
“While other States, especially the APC controlled States are declaring free education at all levels, the Delta State government is charging exorbitant and outrageous acceptance fee for Deltans seeking admissions into the state owned University, Abraka. Students and pupils of Delta State origin now pay fees in primary and secondary schools.
“Finally, APC is the true face of Democracy and is ready to take over Government immediately. The members of the oil producing areas are advised to ask questions and Delta should get ready for an APC Government that will deliver the goods.
“Okowa is indeed smart. He has out-smarted the DTHA and the generality of Deltans. Prosperity for all has become prosperity for Okowa and his family”, the statement added.
However, the Commissioner of Information in the state, Mr Patrick Ukah, who took a quick sweep on Ojoubgoh, referred to him as a political jobber who is looking for a place to pitch his tent.
“I do not as a person take him very serious, replying Cairo, is making him feel very important. He is a sojourner, he looking for a place to perch. Since he is a political jobber, he should deligently look for one”.
On the allegation of the House not doing their oversight functions, Ukah said the House has replied, stressing that “we are a responsible government, we can’t reply irresponsible people”, he said.