Delta oil communities drag Okowa before EFCC
• Wants Okowa probed over alleged 1tr diversion
• Allegation sponsored election losers, says ex-commissioner
Oil and gas communities in Delta State, yesterday, asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the immediate past Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, for allegedly misappropriating over N1tn oil derivation fund belonging to the state during his tenure.
The communities alleged that the diverted fund was from the 50 per cent allocation to Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) from the 13 per cent oil derivation fund for rehabilitation and development of oil-producing areas in Delta State.
The communities, operating under the auspices of Association of Oil and Gas Producing Communities of Delta State, through their representatives, stormed the EFCC headquarters in Abuja to present their case against the governor.
The petition, obtained by The Guardian, was signed by representatives of Ijaw Ethnic Nationality, Chief Mulade Sheriff; Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality, Mathew Itsekure; Ndokwa Ethnic Nationality, Patience Ego Afujue; Urhobo Ethnic Nationality, Mark Ikpuri; and Isoko Ethnic Nationality, Chief John Etenero.
Addressing journalists after submitting the petition at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, Sheriff, who insisted that the former governor unlawfully diverted the said sum, appealed to the anti-graft agency to conduct comprehensive probe of Okowa’s administration.
But when contacted, the immediate past Commissioner for Information, in the state, Charles Aniagwu, denied the allegations, alleging that the petition was sponsored by politicians, who lost the last general elections in the state.
Aniagwu stated: “They should go and sit down. This is a wild-goose chase and even EFCC will know that there is no 1tn anywhere. All the money we got from Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), including derivation for the whole period we were in office amounted to 2.1trn. How can one trillion naira be 13 per cent? Do the mathematics. The money that came from Paris Club, Federation Account that they share to every state, all the interventions amount to 2.1tn. And then out of the money we have, we spent over 1.1tn, paying salaries that is for recurrent expenditure. With that, how can someone divert one trillion?
“Those people protesting were sent by people, who are still pained that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won election in Delta. That is what is paining them. They should know that it is not only Okowa that voted for Sherrif Oborevwori. 21 out of 25 councils endorsed him as their governor. So they should wait for 2027 if they have any better candidate.”
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