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Delta Oil Communities Petitions EFCC, Seeks Okowa’s Probe Over Alleged N1.07trn Fraud

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The Association of Oil and Gas Communities in Delta State stormed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) office in Abuja on Thursday to demand that the former governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, be investigated for allegedly diverting N1.07 trillion from the 13 percent oil derivation fund.

The association, which was made up of representatives from the Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko, and Ndokwa ethnic groups, expressed displeasure over the non-full remittances of the legally required 50% allocation to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) during Okowa administration (2015 to 2023).

Chief Mulade Sheriff, a representative of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality, who spoke to Journalists after filing the appeal to the EFCC, urged the anti-graft agency to take all necessary steps to ensure that the allegedly diverted funds are fully recovered.

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Reading parts of the petition, Mulade said:

“From the records available to us upon an application to the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the 13% oil derivation fund from the Federation Account to the Delta State Government between 2015-2022, the sum of N1,077,450,285,552.17 has been disbursed to the Delta State Government from July 2015 to December 2022, for the Rehabilitation and Development of the oil Producing Communities/Areas in Delta State. In fact what Okowa received is far more than N1,077,450,285,552.17 if the 13% monthly allocations of January 2023 to May 2023 are added. See attached CTC.”

“It is very disheartening and callous to note that despite the copious and unambiguous provisions of Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 13 (1) of the DESOPADEC Law of 2006 (as amended), 2007, 2015 and 2018 respectively, the immediate past Governor of Delta State His Excellency Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa has deliberately and flagrantly abused, violated and breached the above provisions of the Law and had continued to misappropriate the said funds for his personal use at the expense of the suffering people of the Oil and Gas Producing Communities in Delta State.”

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“It is very nauseating that despite the stupendous Billions of Naira being paid to the Delta State Government from the 13% oil derivation fund from the Federation Account, The Oil Producing Areas/Communities continue to wallow in abject poverty with no commensurate social amenities and infrastructures in place. This gross and reckless misappropriation of the 13% oil derivation fund meant for the Oil Producing Communities largely account for the incessant restiveness and agitations in the Niger Delta Region.

“We are strongly appealing to the Commission saddled with the responsibility to probe and Investigate the immediate-past Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, to recover and return our money of the 50% of the 13% Oil derivation fund from the Federation Account to the State Government and render necessary Account for the said illegally and unlawfully misappropriated balance to DESOPADEC coffers, to enable them develop our communities.”

The petition which was received by EFCC was signed by Mulade Sheriff (Ijaw Ethnic Nationality), Sir Mathew Itsekure (Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality), Mrs Patience Ego Afujue (Ndokwa Ethnic Nationality), Hon Mark Ikpuri, (Urhobo Ethnic Nationality) and Chief John Etenero (Isoko Ethnic Nationality).

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(Daily Sun)

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