Two cheques, issued in June 2010 and June 2011, provide incontrovertible evidence about how the embattled governor of Delta state, Emmanuel Uduaghan, buys favours and pays off supporters with state funds.
The cheques, which were issued from the Oceanic Bank accounts operated by the Delta State government, show that the state government made illegal payments to the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, whom it had retained to influence tribunal judgments during difficult political times.
The first cheque was initially issued to Obasanjo Farms on June 15, 2010, from a Delta State account with number 0051-301-000008 for Seven Hundred and Seventy eight million, six hundred thousand Naira (N778, 600,000).
However, in a high noon manoeuvre three days later, on June 18, 2010, the money was transferred to a Manager at Wema Bank Plc, to the Obasanjo Farms account number 1261153353017 with Sort Code 035171263.
As SaharaReporters revealed in a previous report, that account was one of the various secret bank accounts maintained by Obasanjo in Wema Bank.
The last cheque, which had been identified as the monies used to bribe election petition tribunal judges that recently proclaimed Dr. Uduaghan the winner of the highly rigged January 6, 2011 re-run election, also emanated from Oceanic Bank where Uduaghan’s current Commissioner of Finance, Bernard Okumagba,once served as a “financial planner” in the mid 1990ss.
The cheque, for N2.5 billion, was addressed to “Manager Oceanic Bank Call Account” and was reportedly cashed and moved away in bullion vans to a location from which judges, consultants and lawyers were paid in cold, hard cash.
That mind-boggling amount of N2.5 billion was taken out of the “Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC)” account of the Delta State government in Oceanic Bank with Account Number “0051-301-000059”.
After the monies were cashed, they were reportedly given to actors in the election tribunal that included three judges. Other beneficiaries were Chief Obasanjo, Mr. “Fix-It” Anthony Anenih, and Jonathan’s Chief of Staff, Mike Oghiadomhe.
It would be recalled that the final judgment of the re-run election tribunal was read by Tribunal Chairperson Justice Uzoamaka Ogwurike on July 25 2011. The judge had given the impression that the tribunal was doing a thorough job and planned to annul the election when, in fact, she was negotiating a higher pay-off amount, put at N350 million, for herself separate from other members who had accepted their bribe early in the work of the tribunal.
SaharaReporters contacted the Delta State Commissioner of Finance to ask about the transactions by calling his mobile phone number, but he sent us a text message saying he was busy at a meeting. After we disclosed we were calling from New York, he never called back as promised.