Delta government, group disagree over alleged N1 billion fraud
A Delta State-based Integrity Group (IG) has alleged N1 billion fraud by the state government through different memos to the House of Assembly.
The group’s coordinator, Francis Oboh in a statement yesterday, alleged that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa through the state House of Assembly awarded to himself an approval limit of N250, 000, 000 through four memos and also collected N1 billion for personal use.
According to the statement, the State Executive Council approved the funds.
The group also claimed that commissioners do not have the mandate for any approval whatsoever, and called on the State Assembly to urgently address the allegations.
Describing the PDP led administration as incompetent, the statement alleged that the State Executive Council has only one man who can be said to be qualified to be in the council namely: David Edebvie, as Kingsley Emu who claimed to be arrow head in the state government is a known undertaker of dead enterprises.
It also alleged that the state House of Assembly had in the last two years approved over 15 tranches of loans for the governor, claiming that it was in possession of the approval papers.
It stated that while other states, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled states were declaring free education at all levels, the Delta State Government had been charging exorbitant and outrageous acceptance fee for students seeking admissions into the state university.
Also, the students and pupils of the state origin presently pay fees at the primary and secondary school levels.
The statement also disclosed that six opposition parties were ready to work with APC to take over the state government from PDP led administration, which it said had failed the people.
But in swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Charles Aniagwu, said the group was not known to anybody in the state, adding that as a faceless group, its claims should be disregarded.
He challenged the group to provide a traceable address, insisting that its allegations were untrue and a calculated attempt to distract Governor Okowa who from the outset of his administration promised prosperity to all Deltans.
Meanwhile, following the increase in the acceptance fee for newly admitted students into the Delta State University (DELSU), currently raising dust, the University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victor Peretomode said hat the law permits the university to conduct examinations, admit students and charge fees.
Peretomode, who reacted to rumours that the institution has increased school fees and the increment in acceptance for newly admitted students yesterday, insisted that the newly admitted were not students but candidates until they have been given provisional offer of admission.
He explained that there was only a slight increase in acceptance fee for only five core professional courses out of the institution’s 85 degree programmes including Medicine and Surgery, Nursing Science, Pharmacy, Law and Engineering.
In another development, the Delta State Government says the total sum of 2339 retirees entitlements amounting to N5, 550, 524 has been paid, while N15 billion remains outstanding debt.
The State Chairman, Bureau of State Pensions, Christian Siakpere, who spoke to our reporter on exclusive chat, disclosed that Delta State is among states with up-to date payments of pension contributing scheme in the country, adding that between January 2017 to date, 418 retirees’ entitlements, amounting to N2.7 billion were paid.
But Deltans have been asked to jettison the alleged propaganda of the APC-led opposition in the state through online platforms to tarnish the image of the Okowa administration.
A United States-based medical practitioner, Mrs. Isioma Okobah, who visited the state recently said online reports on the Okowa administration were not in tandem with the reality on ground. She said her visit to Delta State was an eye opener on the giant strides so far achieved.
Dr. Okobah said the assessment of the administration should be based purely on fulfillment of campaign promises to the electorate by Okowa. She stressed that such assessment should be anchored on objectivity, empirical proofs and visible evidence on ground.
She made the remarks while speaking at the formal inauguration of the Okowa Legacy Group at Igbodo, Ika North East Local Government Area saying that the group was created to correct what she called deliberate falsehood, misinformation and skewed report on the Okowa administration by online media platforms with the alleged support of political opponents.
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