DELTA: How Government Properties Were Looted In Asaba

Okowa and Uduaghan

Okowa and Uduaghan

A CASUAL visitor to Government House and the Commissioners’ Quarters opposite the sprawling seat of power both in Asaba, cannot help, but notice the emptiness of the car parks, which used to be jam-packed with Delta State Government vehicles.

Parking space there used to be a precious commodity at those two places, but not anymore. One hardly sees any car marked ‘DTGH.’

The number of cars at the car parks gradually dwindled just before May 29, when former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan handed over the reigns of government to his successor, Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa.

Now there are practically no vehicle as they seem to have all skedaddled with the exit of Uduaghan. Some of the political appointees who are the chief culprits reportedly vamoosed with four vehicles instead of one, which they were entitled to going by a circular letter signed by the former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ovuozourie Macaulay.

Macaulay had explained that political appointees, which include Senior Special Advisers, Senior Political Advisers, Chief Advisers, Special Advisers, Political Advisers, Economic Advisers, Project Directors, Executive Assistants, Senior Special Assistants, Special/Media Assistants, Chief Press Secretaries, Press Secretaries and Political/Media Aides, are entitled to just one car.

The former scribe emphasized that the gestures preclude all other official vehicles, as well as, government properties still in possession of those categories of political appointees. He added that such properties must be returned immediately to the most senior officer in their respective ministries, department and agencies as part of the disengagement process.

As people of the state continue to wait anxiously for the governor to make more appointments into his government, the Commissioners’ Quarter were stripped bare, allegedly by the former commissioners in the past administration. Civil servants attached to the official residential quarters of the commissioners were seen in clusters discussing the development in hush tunes.

One of the workers, who would not disclose his identity, explained that the former commissioners looted almost everything including air conditioners, television sets, furniture and even kitchen utensils from their official residences.

This again ran contrary to the directive of Macaulay, who advised all political appointees in the former administration to ensure the proper handover of all government property which included official vehicles, furniture and equipment in their possession as directed by the State Executive Council.

The scribe further wrote: “This is without prejudice to my circular on retention of official vehicles by entitled political appointees. In fact, persons who have either been given the privilege to retain their official cars as gift in appreciation of their services or in lieu of severance gratuity are also required to return or handover the government official number plates affixed to such vehicles as a condition for the issuance of the letters of release.”

Another source, who would also not want his name in print, explained that there is no way a political appointee will be issued a letter of release if he came with more than two plate numbers, as it is only one vehicle they are entitled to.

He lamented the open disregard of the order, advising that the governor should wield the big stick by inviting law enforcement agents, preferably officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate the activities of the erring officials and prosecute them if indicted.

“It beats my imagination that somebody can take about two, three, four or even five government cars away and nothing happens to him. Some even took the air-conditioners, televisions, fridges and other electronics in their offices and residences away. They should be held accountable.

These are government properties and should not be carted away,” said the source. According to him, with over 200 political appointees in the state, the cost to the tax payers of the vehicles and properties carted away could be over two billion Naira, wondering where the new governor is going to get money to buy new ones, against the backdrop of dwindling allocation from the Federation Account.

Presently, the state government only manages to pay salary of workers, while new political appointees will not be given official cars while those living in government quarters will have to make do without furniture and electronics.

He said that the former political appointees had the audacity to loot the properties because the new administration, just like the former, are both of the same ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and that the new governor was a former commissioner and Secretary to the State Government.

The thinking, according to our source, is that Okowa, being a part of the system will not read the riot act out to them and may just quietly let them go with the loot.

“Having served as a commissioner under ex-governor James Ibori and as the Secretary to the State Government under Uduaghan, they feel he is a homeboy, who will not hurt them. Okowa had declared in his inaugural address on May 29 in Asaba: “And on this day, let it be known that the business of government can no longer be business as usual.”

This obviously seems to be first acid test for Okowa who promised to “avoid waste, profligacy and never lose sight of the fact that we will be held accountable to God and man for our stewardship.”

  • paul

    Okowa has always been corrupt and just can’t understand why delta people voted him.I guess,they would have to through the pain of their stupidity.hahahaaa

    • Eddy4Real

      OKOWA was not really voted but PDP used their rigging machine effectively……………………..
      Lets see if tribunal will allow this lawlessness to hold waters.
      Remember less than 300000 people were accreditted by card readers but over a million plus cast their vote
      HOW MANAGE………?

    • JONES

      Who voted for him(PDP)?Electoral Tribunal is on the way soon,

  • Nelson

    That is rather sad. It is easy to recover all the stolen items. After all, there is something called “inventory” and these items could be easily traced to the present unauthorized custodians. The major factor is developing the political will to do justice and recover stolen items; items stolen from the Government of Delta State by former public office holders. What a shame. That is sheer greed. It is not as if they cannot afford to buy these items, even brand new ones.

  • Ify Onabu

    Why does the Nigeria government at all levels appear always helpless when faced with impunity? Why do we have the law? Why doe we have law enforcement agents? Why do we have the law courts?

  • giko

    Nigeria and our valued mind set, what will a man that have been in goverment for 4 or more years step so low to steal funitures and electronics, with the robbery remuneration for political office servants, one will wonder if the salaries and the money they get from corrupt deals can not buy these items, its true corruption is not in our character it is in our blood

  • curtis uwuigbe

    This is not new in government/public circles, and it cannot be completely stopped. Moreover, why shouldn’t a newly appointed official be provided with mostly new facilities? My advice would be for government to pay furniture allowances to their appointees who would furnish their houses themselves and be entitled to leave with the furniture at the end of their tenures. That is one reasonable way to keep these talks of debased level of corruption from embarrassing our country and taking up unnecessary sections of the spaces allocated to more cogent news in the print and mass media.

  • stanley

    why blaming the them?blame the useless uduaghan who is very corrupt.he should be held responsible.


  • Edafe

    the difference between Uduaghan and Okowa is like six and half a dozen,as long as both men are products of the same political party nothing spectacular should be expected from the new governor.But they should know that divine judgement cannot be escaped

  • Amechi

    This is PDP for you. The new governor has to do something if he is genuinely wants to serve the people of the state.
    This is the state money was stolen to build school and now wants to sale it back to the state government. This needs to be investigate and call in EFCC to do their job.


    This is extremely shameful,as a commissioner for just 12months,you can acheive so much,how much more for a full term of four years,you have a very fat budget that accommodate all your cars,building including kitchen utensil,sending your children abroad for studies up to PHD level,why stooping so low to vandalize air conditional units,kitchen utensil,these people are worst than armed robbers.EFCC can tract them and recover all these day light robbery.
    Okowa first test has come but can a thief punish a his own gang of thieves?,because electoral tribunal is on the way from Abuja,100days will be too long for the hurricane CHANGE to land in Delta

  • KennethMDavidson

    &^^&^Going Back ngrguardiannews There’s infoo

  • awal

    may be we can see the wisdom in the monetization policy of obasanjo’s regime.