By Patrick Aigbokhan
The ongoing investigation of past state governments by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has finally landed on the table of the former administration of Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
A team of operatives from the Economic Governance Unit of EFCCon Wednesday began looking into the account books of the Delta State Government under Uduaghan.
According to reliable sources, some officials of the state government would from next week appear before the commission to answer questions in relation to alleged economic crimes.
According to reports, some former commissioners and principal officers of the state’s seventh House of Assembly would be invited by the commission for interrogation.
One of the principal officers of the House was said to have appeared at the commission’s headquarters last week for questioning on related issues.
But it was learned that the team investigating the immediate past Delta State administration had not invited the former governor.
Uduaghan’s invitation, it is said, would be determined by the outcome of the investigation of the invited officials.
Sources said, “It is not true that Uduaghan and his aides were quizzed by the commission. Even his aides have not 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.”
In a bid to get his comment on this development, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, said he had not been briefed about the investigation.
In May, this year, Uduaghan denied an allegation by a group which accused him of embezzling over N200bn 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.
Prince Kpokpogri, leader of the forum, said that some members of the state’s seventh House of Assembly connived with the governor to secure N40bn bond.
Uduaghan, who spoke through his Communications Manager Paul Odili, however, said the allegations were false and mischievous.
“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,” Odili said.