Alleged mismanagement of DESOPADEC fund unsettles Delta
• Concerned stakeholders write EFCC, threaten protest
• Gov’s aide labels allegation laughable, spurious
The allegation of N40 billion misappropriated fund of Delta State oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has unsettled the people, especially the oil-bearing communities.
The interventionist agency, created to impact on positively these settlements, expectedly, has been allegedly described as a conduit pipe by the current administration in the state to siphon public funds.
It was alleged that since assumption of office as state chief executive on May 29, 2015 till June 2017, Okowa received N127 billion as 13 per cent derivation fund from the Federation Accounts and Allocation Commission (FAAC), with 50 per cent of the amount, N63 billion due to DESPOADEC, disappeared into thin airs.
Sources said that besides December 2015 when the governor released N10 billion to the commission, he had allegedly released another N300 million only for payment of salaries and running of power generating sets to the various offices in the commission.
With an estimated sum of N16 billion being the sum total the governor had allegedly released since coming to power, tongues are wagging on what the stakeholders described as “total fraud on the part of the governor,” adding that a petition had been sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) to investigate the N40 billion allegedly diverted into private pockets.
Part of the petition signed by Julius Oboreh and Johnson Akposere and made available to our reporter, reads: “We wish to draw your attention to the diversion of N40 billion by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, a fund meant for the development of oil-bearing communities under DESOPADEC. We wish our petition would be thoroughly investigated.”
It would be recalled that on account of a protest by aggrieved contractors over unpaid debts, the governor, a couple of months back released fresh N500 million to pay some of them.
But in a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, described the allegations as laughable and spurious, saying the petitioners were acting out of personal hatred and frivolities.
“I want to say that the allegations are not true as there is no substance in their so-called petition and it should be disregarded.”
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