Delta Governor Misuses Paris Club Funds – Retirees

The Delta state Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has been accused by the retirees under the umbrella of the Association of Retired Local Government Staff and Primary School Teachers of the state of the mishandling of the bailout funds released by the state government.

It was revealed that the retirees have taken to the streets bearing placards and banners held a protest during which they slammed Okowa over the non-payment of their entitlements.

While demanding to know how the bailout was spent, they requested the full payment of all benefits owed them from 2013 till date.

This is the second time in one week pensioners in Delta State will be protesting through the streets of Asaba singing the same song and passing the same kind of message.

Their placards gave a clear description of their requests as they converged on the complex of the State House of Assembly to pour out their grievances.

Chairman of the association, Jerry Arioghore, said: “It is appalling to note that soon after assumption of office in May 2015, the state governor Ifeanyi Okowa, through the joint allocation account stopped the 7.5 percent statutory monthly allocation to the Bureau of Local Government Pensions.

“This is a serious infraction on the Delta State Pension Reform Law and all efforts to draw his attention to this fell on deaf ears.”


“Account For Federal Allocations To Delta State”, Militants Challenge Okowa

A militant group, New Delta Avengers (NDA), has threatened to cripple oil exploration in Delta State if Governor Ifeanyi Okowa fails to account for the federal allocations accrued so far to the state.

The militants accused Okowa of abandoning the oil-bearing communities and withholding votes for the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

The faceless group, in a statement yesterday by its spokesman, Cpl Olleum Bellum, apologised for aborting its press briefing on Sunday, attributing the development to espionage.

They alleged: “If you see the allocations for states that were released by the Ministry of Finance today (yesterday), you will see that Delta State and Okowa were paid N4,747,930,884.16 billion for February and DESOPADEC is supposed to get half of that money but we know that nothing was paid to the agency.

“The governor has questions to answer. What we asked for is the name and physical location of projects that this government has spread in Ijaw, Isoko, Ndokwa and Urhobo communities. We want to know what he has done for them and the money given.

“Let the governor wake up from his slumber and come to terms with his vicious acts towards our communities. He cannot wish away the truth. He has not done anything to benefit the oil communities from Ndokwa, Koko to Forcados.

“We are saying that he is robbing Peter to pay Paul and we stand by this. Let him release the details of funds that he has given to DESOPADEC. Why is he not publishing the state’s allocations, internally generated revenue (IGR) and other incomes as other states do.”

The group urged the Federal Government to pay the 13 per cent derivation funds directly to the communities for their development.



Source: The Guardian

How Delta State Governor Okowa Used DESOPADEC Funds To Revive Ibori’s Daily Independent Newspaper

Reliable Delta State sources have informed SaharaReporters that publications of the Independent Newspapers Limited, which returned to the newsstands on  February 22 after a hiatus of nearly five months, are being funded by the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), a government agency.

The newspaper group is owned by former Delta State governor, James Ibori, who is in jail in the United Kingdom.

The newspapers were shut down following an industrial action embarked upon by the company’s workers to back their demands for over 16 months of unpaid wages.

The company, which publishes Daily Independent, Independent on Saturday and Independent on Sunday, had been gasping for survival for about nine years.  When the strike began in October 2015, many people feared that the company would finally fold up.

The strike was officially called on February  1  2016.  Its end was marked by the sack of over 100 members of staff for the role they were perceived to have played during the strike. While it lasted, the Ted Iwere-led management of the company started refurbishing the company’s premises, sparking speculation that a television and radio arm of the company would soon come into operation.

According to our sources, DESOPADEC provided the funds with which laid off workers were paid. DESOPADEC’s intervention in the financial crisis that has been rocking the 14- year old newspaper since 2007 and which led to the initial ouster of Iwere as the Executive Director in 2009, started last year with the appointment of Olorogun Williams Makinde as Managing Director of DESOPADEC.

Makinde, said the sources, became a member of Independent Newspaper Limited board of directors mid-2013 during an internal crisis that led to the compulsory retirement of such high-ranking editorial staff as Akpandem James, Ikechukwu Amaechi, Olumide Iyanda and Oguwike Nwachuku

Makinde’s name was, however, taken off the newspaper’s masthead as a member of the board immediately he got the appointment at DESOPADEC. But he still attends meetings of the board.

“When the board, chaired by a politician who, last year, sought to be Bornu State governor on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), met in September 2015 to persuade workers not to go on strike, Makinde attended,” one of the sources said.  “He came very late, though.”

Makinde, who is said to have owed his appointment to Ibori’s influence, sources maintained, reached an agreement with Iwere to keep the flagging titles afloat by providing funding through generous advert patronage. A key element in this plan is a monthly pull-out of four pages.

“This will be done in the form of pull-outs once every month. This will amount to N10 million monthly. The plan is to get it to run for one year and get it renewed.  As I speak with you, more than half of the money for one year has been paid to Independent upfront. The money was what was used to pay the sacked workers and buy materials needed to kick-start production of the newspaper,” said a top source.

Makinde is now being described as a new investor, said sources. “If you hear people saying that there is a new investor, they are referring to the money that Makinde is diverting to the company. No other person has invested a dime,” a source declared.

Staff who escaped being sacked have been told that they will be paid the backlog of salaries and allowances in March and June 2016. They have also been promised a 50 percent salary increase.

Meanwhile, the company has employed a Chief Operating Officer, Gopal Krishna, an Indian, who is said to earn N1 million monthly in addition to a tastefully furnished official apartment in a plush part of Ikeja. Other perks of his new office include return tickets to India with his family whenever he is on vacation with his wife anytime. Before bagging his current job, the Indian and his wife were said to have been out of work and were about to be evicted from the apartment he was given by his previous employers.

Curiously, though, Krishna’s name is not included in the list of the management staff of the company.

Sahara Reporters

300 PDP Stalwarts Decamps To APC In Delta

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State has suffered a setback following the defection of over 300 of its members in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state to All Progressives Congress, APC.

“I have always hoped that we could help PDP to reform itself but that has not happened. The more we try, the more it seems that the party is terminally ill. So, it came to a point that I think that what is best for me and my people, and what is best for Nigeria, is being in APC which has actually appeared to be charting a path for Nigeria. Although it is slow, I think Nigeria is on the path of progress.Leading the defectors, Mr. Dada Ogoli-Egbune, a former chieftain of the party in the state, said: “Our decision to leave the PDP is because after the party suffered terminal illness at the last general election, it has refused to reform.

“It is not easy, we must realize that for 16 years the PDP almost destroyed this country and people did not say anything. The government is just taking off. For the first time there is fear in the land, the issue of impunity is no longer there. People are no longer as bold as they were to indulge in corrupt practices.”

“There is now purposeful leadership, it is no longer business as usual. Although they can do more, but by and large there is purposeful leadership,” he said.
Receiving the decampees, the Chairman of the APC in ward four, Aniocha North, Mr Jerome Azike, said, he was happy to receive the decampees, adding “It shows the wind of change is already blowing.”


Apologize For Taking Me To Court, Okowa Tells LP, APC Guber Candidates

Delta State Governor Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has advised his opponent from the Labour Party (LP), Great Ogboru and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olorogun Emerhor, to apologize for taking him to court despite knowing they didn’t win the April 11, 2015 gubernatorial election in the state.

Okowa made the call during a thanksgiving service in Asaba to mark the decision of the Supreme Court, which upheld his election in a unanimous decision, Osun Defender learnt.

The governor described the appeal against him as an abuse of the court process.

Mr. Okowa in the company of his wife, the former Secretary to the State Government Ovuozourie Macaulay, and other top government functionaries dedicated his victory to God.

According to the Governor, Olorogun Emerhor and Chief Ogboru knew they did not win the elections, yet, they went to the Elections Petition Tribunal to the Court of Appeal and then, to the Supreme Court, subjecting Deltans and lovers of the state to uncertainties.

“It is time to forgive and move on. I also believe that my opponents, Olorogun O’tega and Chief Ogboru should apologise to all Deltans, because, they knew the people’s choice but, they just wanted to go through this legal process,” he said, reiterating, “I have forgiven them but, I think they need to apologise to Deltans because, they distracted the people.”

“We should forgive them, it is time to love ourselves, see ourselves as brothers and sisters fighting solely for the common good of our people; it is time for us to break away from the past, to begin a new partnership; it is time to have a collective approach to governance – community governance because, on our part, we promise to carry every one along in love and unity.”

“I have forgiven them but, I think they need to apologise to Deltans because, they distracted the people,” Mr. Okowa stated.

Breaking: Supreme Court Upholds Oyo, Yobe And Delta Guber Polls

Osun Defender has learnt that Nigeria’s Supreme Court Tuesday evening, upheld the elections of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi; his Delta and Yobe State counterpart, Governors Ifeanyi Okowa and Ibrahim Gaidam.

It was learnt that the Supreme court also fixed February 15 to give reasons for its unanimous judgment in the election.