The All Progressives Congress has called for the probe of the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, over allegations that he diverted $10 million from the bailout fund made available to states for the payment of salaries.
The party equally called on Okowa to offer explanation on the allegation.
In a statement by the acting spokesman of the APC in Delta State, Leonard Obi, the party called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the allegation of the missing $10 million to establish if Okowa was the one involved and also look into the alleged missing N48.6 billion Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission fund.
The statement reads in full: “The All Progressives Congress, Delta State received with shock the news from various media organizations (including The Nation and Vanguard) concerning an alleged diversion by one of the South-South governors of the sum of $10m from the bailout funds released by the Federal Government which has been hijacked by his America-based mistress.
“However, the online and social media channels have pointedly revealed that Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of Delta State is the culprit in this hideous matter; and that it is Governor Okowa that commissioned and connived with his mistress, who is an actress that hails from the Ika-speaking area of Delta State and based in Texas U.S.A., to launder the $10m into slush accounts in order to avoid detection by security agencies. This is the reason why President Buhari directed that the bailout funds and the London-Paris Club loan refunds to all states be monitored, as these monies are principally meant to relieve the burden of outstanding debt to workers and pensioners.
“According to the report, “the money in question has been traced”, as it was allegedly wired or hauled in tranches in order to beat the nation’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Recently, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) confirmed that 16 states are yet to disburse about N57.6 billion of the bailout funds.
“The Governor is said to be nervous and furious having discovered that he has been duped and defrauded by his mistress, and that “the diversion of the looted $10m by the mistress created an uproar that triggered the ongoing investigation of the deal between the love birds”. The essence of the investigation is to unravel this mystery and possibly recover the funds.
“We hope that it is not true that the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, is the one involved; but, if it is established that he is implicated, then it is most cruel, manipulative and disgraceful for Governor Okowa to debase himself so callously, and to have acted in a manner that is so ‘criminal’ and morally unjust. We implore EFCC to dig deeper with this investigation and uncover other possible covert misappropriation by Governor Okowa who has still not responded to a recent accusation by Sahara Reporters that he, allegedly, has misappropriated a colossal sum of N48.6bn from the statutory allocation due to Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), being half of the total 13% derivation funds that accrued to Delta State from May 2015 to November 2016, which has left the major oil-producing areas without any meaningful development since the advent of his administration.
“It is obvious to Deltans that under Governor Okowa’s PDP-led government and indeed, all previous PDP-led administrations, Delta State has nosedived in all ramifications: economically, educationally and in the quality of its infrastructure, leaving the state impoverished and left behind on several development indices. Even Delta State government workers and aged pensioners who have long been weeping and wailing over non-payment of their salaries and pensions have not been spared; and they have been protesting incessantly for release of their salaries and pensions. In the midst of such extreme insensitivity to the plight of Deltans, it is awful and disgusting to be reminded of the looting of Delta State treasury which cabals in previous PDP-led administrations visited upon the innocent people of Delta State. We now have every cause to worry that the looting of Delta State treasury has become another recurring decimal with this Okowa PDP-led government.
“Given the gravity of the allegations, we call on Governor Okowa to step into the open and clear the air on this scandalous fleecing of the wealth of Deltans, including the reported misappropriation of N48.6billion DESOPADEC funds.
“We, APC Delta State, roundly condemn this damnable fraud on the people of Delta State, and demand that the EFCC does everything to bring the culprits to book immediately. Deltans are eager and waiting. Nigeria is waiting.”