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Obaseki disowns commissioner over alleged $2 million fraud

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• State assembly proposes removal of council boss for IGR remittance
• Monarchs plan prayers for resolution of gov’s, Oshiomhole’s rift

The Edo State Government yesterday said the purported arrest of the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwingie-Ero over an alleged $2m fraud has nothing to do with the government or Governor Godwin Obaseki.

In a statement issued by Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, it noted the state government could not confirm the alleged arrest of the commissioner.

“We learnt about the alleged arrest of Osaze Osemwingie-Ero from the social media and we are unable to confirm either the arrest or what might have led to it.”

“But we can confirm that whatever the issues might be, they are personal and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Edo State Government or Governor Obaseki,” the statement added.

Osemwingie-Ero was reportedly arrested by the Interpol in France for allegedly laundering $2m.

Besides, the Edo House of Assembly yesterday advocated removal of the suspended Chairman of Esan West Council Area, Patrick Aguinede, over unremitted Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

This followed consideration of the report of the panel of enquiry constituted by Governor Obaseki to investigate allegations of fraud leveled against the chairman, which the governor forwarded to the House.

Leader of the House, Roland Asoro moved for a resolution to enable the Committee of the Whole to consider the report.

Representative of Esan North East II constituency Emmanuel Okoduwa, seconded the motion, saying considering the report at the Committee of the Whole, the chairman presented fake figures to the panel.

He also said that the panel found the chairman wanting for under remitting the council IGR into the state government coffers.

The panel said Aguinede was allegedly remitting N4.5m while council remitted N7.6m within the period he was suspended, noting also that the Acting Chairman remitted N9.1m to the state government between October 7 and October 30 this year, among other infractions.

Meanwhile, the Edo Council of Traditional Rulers will on Thursday, January 2, 2020 embark on fasting and prayers to seek God’s intervention in the lingering crisis between Obaseki and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole, have been embroiled in protracted crisis which has polarised the party in the state.

NAN also reports that the crisis between them and their supporters has continued unabated in spite of intervention from the leadership of the party, governors and other well-meaning individuals in the country.

A statement issued by Usman Abudah, Spokesman to the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh in Benin City yesterday said the royal father enjoined Muslims in his kingdom to continue to pray for peace in the state.

Abudah said the monarch, while briefing members of Otaru-in-Council (OIC) on the recent meeting of the state Traditional Rulers’ Council, presided over by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, also urged them to join in the prayers.


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