DELTA: Panic in PDP as EFCC is set to disqualify corrupt aspirants
Fear and frenzy have gripped some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants in Delta state who has cases to answer with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the Nigeria 's anti-graft agency is set to stop corrupt politicians from participating in
the 2011 general elections.
It is recalled that the EFCC has so far identified 54 corrupt aspirants on the platform of the PDP nationwide as the commission revealed that it has forwarded their names to the party to disqualify them from contesting for any public offices. EFCC has kept a tab on the financial transactions involving some corrupt politicians currently aspiring to contest in the 2011 elections.
Although names of affected aspirants are yet to be released, sources in the EFCC have revealed that the names would soon be made public to guide the electorates. A source added that EFCC is carefully waiting for response from the PDP before the names are made public. 'The commission will stand in the way of corrupt officials to electoral success. We have planned to work with the political parties and INEC in disqualifying corrupt aspirants, 'but if all else fails, their names will be made public.'
This development seems to have irked most aspirants in Delta state whose cases are still before the EFCC to engage in unwholesome lobby to ensure that their names are not among those to be released soon by the anti-graft body.
Key PDP aspirants jostling for Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly seats in Delta state has begun to develop cold feet over the rercent announcement and they are determined to use resources at their disposal to make themselves free.
Findings reveal that the aspirants, uncomfortable with the development has resorted to convincing their followers that nothing unfortunate would happen, evn as they face charges of various degrees in the hands of the EFCC.
Delta aspirants on EFCC's list
Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the House of Representatives (Aniocha/Oshimili) who is contesting for re-election to the House of Representatives was recently re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja and charged along other persons with fresh 65 counts bordering on defrauding the government of over N5.2 billion in the Rural Electrification Agency project.
The fund was said to have been domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria . They allegedly diverted the money in the guise of paying over 65 fictitious companies that were purportedly awarded contracts for Grid Extension and Solar Electricity project.
Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters and a Delta North Senatorial District aspirant in the state was named to be involved in an $80,000 logistic deal meant for the training of 10 members of the Senate and 10 of their counterparts from the House of Representatives.
Dr. Cairo Ojougboh petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over breach of contract, respectively, alleging Ojougboh and another refused to satisfy the agreed terms for the provision of executive leadership training for select members of the National Assembly.
Ojougboh is also not finding it easy as he is contesting along side a member of the Queen's Counsel (QC), Hon. Ned Nwoko, former Secretary to State Government (SSG), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and wife of former Nastional Chairman of PDP, Chief Mrs. Mariam Nneamaka Alli.
Immunity clause saves corrupt Uduaghan
Analysts have argued that for the immunity presently enjoyed by governors which makes them invulnerable while in office, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state would have since been facing charges with EFCC like his cousin and former governor, James Ibori.
Meanwhile, sources within the EFCC reveal that Uduaghan has a case file that has been kept in view (KIV) for some time now, adding that 'nobody would escape from our grip when the time comes. We are only waiting for that time and it will soon come'.
Angry Deltans say the current government under Uduaghan cannot pride itself of significant investment to reduce mass poverty and unemployment, despite the over 600 billion naira in oil revenues from the federation account via statutory allocations from the federation account, excess crude remittances, ecological funds, derivation proceeds and value added taxes received.
Uduaghan, who now controls the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), where billions of development funds are plundered for self enrichment is also alleged to be paying off 40% of total contract sum to contractors who front for him without satisfactory 10% job execution. The projects are usually either abandoned while government becomes taciturn or re-awarded to another contractor without recovering the earlier monies paid.