APC stalwart lays weighty allegations against Okowa, Delta assembly
We can’t reply irresponsible people – info commissioner
As Delta state government continues to battle to save its face from the blank budget accusation by Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, the All Progressives Congress (APC) heavyweight and former National Deputy Chairman of PDP, has leveled yet another allegation of N2 billion misappropriation against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state.
Dr Ojougboh, also alleged that the Delta State House of Assembly has failed to carry out its oversight functions as it has purportedly become a rubber stamp and under the mercy of the state governor.
The APC bigwig, gave the bombshell weekend while addressing a press conference on behalf of APC Committee of Like Mind Leaders at Agbor, Ika South local government area of the state.
He revealed that in 2016, Okowa had approached the House and requested the approval of N2 billion structured overdraft facility from First City Monumental Bank to enable the state government bridge the gap in critical expenditure needs of the state which was allegedly granted by the law makers.
The letter by the governor dated 12th April, 2016, requesting for approval of the said money by the House and which was made available by Ojougboh, 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 continues: “Access to the loan is, however, subject to certain terms and 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”.
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 assembly 48 hours to produce a signed copy of the 2017 budget. Ten days after, the assembly 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. The commissioners do not have mandate for any approval whatsoever, not even for Ten Naira (N10). The assembly 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. We call on Delta assembly to quickly address these anomalies otherwise there will be no Delta in 2019.
“The over twenty billion 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 N2billion 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 that is David Edebvie. Kingsley Emu is a known undertaker of dead enterprises. The State EXCO cannot deliver and this government must go now.
“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.
However, the commissioner of information in the state, Mr Patrick Ukah, who took a quick swipe 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 is looking for a place to perch. Since he is a political jobber, he should diligently 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.
The state PDP chairman, Kingsley Esiso, described Ojougboh as a Judas, a betrayal, hence there is no need giving him audience.