- To cough out N.9tr
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced an investigation into the administration of Delta State former Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan over allegations bordering on money laundering, fraud, abuse of office and theft to the tune of over N900bn.
Nigerian Pilot on Saturday Investigations revealed that a team of operatives attached to the Economic Governance Unit of the commission was entrusted with the responsibility of looking into the account books of the Delta State Government under Uduaghan led administration for eight years.
A highly placed source at the EFCC told our correspondent that some officials of the state government would appear before the commission to answer questions in relation to alleged economic crimes next week.
It was learnt that some former commissioners and principal officers of the state’s seventh House of Assembly would be invited by the commission for interrogation.
The source said that one of the principal officers of the House was at the commission’s headquarters last week.
It was gathered that the team investigating the immediate past Delta State administration had not invited the former Governor.
It was gathered that Uduaghan’s invitation would be determined by the outcome of the investigation of the invited officials.
“It is not true that Uduaghan and his aides were quizzed by the commission. Even his aides have not even been quizzed. The commission has invited some of the officials who served under the former Governor. Some of them are commissioners and others are principal officers of the House of Assembly.
“Only one of the principal officers (name withheld) has appeared and left. The others are expected next week. The Governor was not invited. He can only be invited after the interrogation of the officials involved. For now, he is out of it.”
When Nigerian Pilot on Saturday contacted the Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, to comment on the story, he said he had not been briefed on the said investigation.
Embattled Uduaghan had in May denied an allegation by a group which accused him of embezzling over N200bn which was appropriated to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission.
The group, under the aegis of the Delta Youths for Good Governance and Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum had alleged that the Governor had embezzled the money and was speeding up plans to scrap the commission before leaving office on May 29, 2015.
The leader of the forum, Prince Kpokpogri, alleged that some members of the state seventh House of Assembly connived with the Governor to secure N40bn bond.
Speaking through his Communications Manager, Paul Odili, Uduaghan, had, however, said the allegations were false and mischievous.
Odili said, “People are just heaping all kinds of allegations against the person of the Governor. How can the Governor take such a huge amount of money? It is cheap blackmail because the Governor has the interest of Deltans at heart and he cannot do that. That allegation is ridiculous and from an ignorant mind.”
In the last two weeks, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has docked former Governor of Imo state, IkediOhakim, former Governor of Adamawa state, MurtalaNyako and his son AbdulazizNyako, a serving senator as well as the immediate past Governor of Jigawa state, SuleLamido alongside two of his sons all on fraud related charges before federal High courts.