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Governor Okowa Drafts EFCC To Delta, Sponsors Petitions Against Opponents

Facts have emerged on how Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has again drafted officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the state to arrest political opponents who served in the past administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.

SaharaReporters reliably learnt that Mr. Okowa vowed not to relent in unleashing the EFCC on political opponents who served in the immediate past administration, and has invited operatives of the commission to arrest former commissioners and aides. He allegedly also engaged the services of some individuals to write petitions to the EFCC.

Mr. Okowa had sometime in August, this year, drafted officials of the EFCC to Asaba, the state capital. They were lodged in a hotel for two days by Principal Secretary to Governor Okowa, Mr. Hilary Ibegbulam, where officials of the immediate past administration were interrogated and arrested.

Confiding in SaharaReporters, a Director in one of the state ministries disclosed that a team of EFCC operatives returned to Asaba early this month on invitation by Governor Okowa to continue investigation of some persons who served his predecessor, former Governor Uduaghan.

"It is no longer news that Governor Okowa two months ago, in a bid to get at his predecessor, brought in officials of the EFCC to arrest some political opponents who worked with former Governor Uduaghan. The governor is bent on making sure that all the persons who worked against him during the PDP primaries and 2015 governorship election are jailed, using the EFCC as the easiest and quickest way to achieve his aims," the senior civil servant stated.

According to the Director, who is familiar with the issue and how petitions were sponsored by the present administration, the EFCC team on arrival in the state capital went straight to the Government House where a letter requesting for over twenty files with their numbers, addressed to the Permanent Secretary, was dropped.

The Director told SaharaReporters that the EFCC letter, signed by Garba Dugum, Head, Economic Governance, requested 23 files, with their numbers, that have connection with some officials who served in the former administration; adding that the petitions were sponsored and emanated from Okowa's agents.

The Director quoted the 23 files numbers demanded by the EFCC as "File No GHA. 515/T14/16, File No GHA. 608/T2/22, File No GHA. 418/T/15, File No GHA. 790/2-4, File No GHA. 58/T14/23, File No GHA. 68/19A/VOL.11/45, File No SGD. 198/129-131, File No SGD. 198/T8/12, File No GHA. 170/T3/5, File No GHA. 418/TA/76, and File No GHA. 20/T2/55.

"Others were File No GHA. 303/T7/9, File No GHA. 303/T8/7, File No GHA. 69/T19B/VOL.11/13, File No DGO. 29/7, File No GHA. 515/T5/3, File No GHA. 743/T4/30, File No GHA. 296/T1/28, File No SA/MC/015, File No GHA. 30/T4/110, File No GHA. 660/T1/23, File No GHA. 599/T/11 and File No GHA. 456/T3/4."

A principal officer of the Delta State House of Assembly, who is not pleased with what he considered political vendetta by Governor Okowa against perceived opponents in the last administration, condemned the manner EFCC is being used as a tool. 

The lawmaker said: "It is a pity that the House is already sold to the Governor on a platter of gold by the Speaker, Mr. Monday Igbuya, and if you talk, you are slammed with suspension. Let me tell you, Governor Okowa is busy chasing political opponents with EFCC, meanwhile all the mouth watering contracts running into billions of naira are being executed by his brothers, sisters and cronies. 

"In March, this year, Governor Okowa launched a scheme he called FAST TRACK 90, to fast-track the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy [C of O] to property owners within 90 days. Okowa awarded this mouth watering multi-billion naira contract to QueensBridge Capital Investment Ltd., owned by an Ika man, his blood cousin, Mr. Lawrence Osiegbu, one time Commissioner for Environment.

"Do you also know that Okowa awarded a multi-billion naira renovation contract for the Delta State Governor's Lodge right there in the heart of Abuja to his own Director of Protocol, Mr. Ifeanyi Eboigbe? In his bid to grab power in 2019, Okowa is busy awarding billions of naira to relations and cronies. Commissioners don't know where contracts are awarded."

Meanwhile a copy of the EFCC letter sighted by SaharaReporters, with reference no CR: 3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG6/VOL.38/086 and addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Asaba, Delta State, says the commission is investigating a case of conspiracy, abuse of office and money laundering involving Delta State and requested for 23 files with their numbers.

"The request is pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004," the letter stated.

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