Okowa denies involvement in Delta IPP
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has dissociated himself from the multi-billion naira Delta State Independent Power Plant (IPP), at Oghara, Ethiope West Local Council of the state.
Okowa’s denial comes against the backdrop of insinuation that the Delta State House of Assembly ad hoc committee probing the N23.2b abandoned power project, was pressurized to hands off the investigation due to involvement of a top politician in the state.
During a February 26 visit to the project site, the five member Ad Hoc
Committee headed by the Majority Leader, Tim Owhefere (Isoko North), vowed to probe all the parties involved in the project and ensure its completion, but curiously the panel abandoned the probe.
It was generally held that the probe would have thrown up obvious cans of worms, which fueled speculations immediately it was aborted mid way due to intense pressures.
Owhefere was unequivocal when he declared, “we decided to come hear today because we don’t want to base our reports on hearsay. We came to see what is on ground.
“By the time we are done, we will be able to come out with a comprehensive report on how much has been spent on this project, how much was the original contract value and how much was judiciously spent.”
But speaking to reporters, weekend, in Asaba, Okowa explained that as Secretary of Government under former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, he was not directly involved in 2009, when the contract was awarded as it fell under the purview of the commissioner of Energy.
He swore that he never got a dime in form of either kickback or anything from the contractor and so couldn’t have put pressure on the lawmakers to stop the probe of the project, insisting that the decision to stop the investigation was entirely that of the lawmakers.
Okowa said: “I did not receive one kobo and can speak authoritatively and
conscientiously on it. I did not stop the probe; if I was interested in stopping it, I am sure they wouldn’t have started it in the first instance. I am very clean on it and can beat my chest on it, I can smile over it.”