For allegedly defrauding the Delta State Government of several billions of Naira, a group called the Delta Patriotic Network has dragged Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi, the Delta State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A detailed petition obtained by SaharaReporters and addressed to Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, the Chairman of the EFCC, called on the commission’s boss to commence an investigation into the allegations levied against the PDP chairman.
The group’s national president, Ojein Samuel, its national vice president, Mr. Okotete Tony, and its secretary, Mr. Oromoni Zuokumor, signed the strongly worded petition.
According to the group, Mr. Nwaoboshi fraudulently enriched himself by using his position as the state PDP Chairman to arm-twist the 25 Local Government Chairmen in the state. The strong-armed tactics were aimed to award him a contract to supply bulldozers, graders, and pay loaders, running into several billions of Naira. Yet, instead of supplying functional equipment, Nwaoboshi supplied non-functional earth-moving equipment, which is today laying moribund at various council lots in the state.
The petition stated that the PDP Chairman allegedly imported the equipment from China. None of the imported equipment worked, not even for a day, and because of his position as the state party chairman, none of the council chairmen could do him anything in protest.
“We write to bring to the notice of your esteemed commission, the ‘catalogue of abuse of power,’ greed, and fraudulent enrichment by Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi, using the platform of office of the Chairman, Delta State PDP. The under listed atrocities committed by Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi are just the tip of the iceberg.
“We believe that the proceeds from the fraudulent swindling of the 25 local governments of almost N2billion in the bogus sales of dead earth moving plants, was used to set up a cable industry along the Asaba–Benin Express way. This factory is conservatively valued at over N1billion, with in-house guest chalets,” the group alleged.
The petitioners further accused the chairman of forcibly collecting money from members of the Delta State House of Assembly, to the tune of N10 million, N38 million from councilors and local government chairmen; as well as milking the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission (DESOPADEC), of N15 million as party dues on a monthly basis. They also allege that in less than one year, the PDP boss had built two sprawling mansions in Asaba, and in Ibusa, his country home.
The petition further stated that “the nomination forms for the proposed local government elections party primaries were sold for N1.5m for chairmanship; N300, 000.00 for councillorship; plus N300, 000.00 and N200, 000.00 levies respectively collected by Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi as a “kola-nut,” if an aspirant’s form is to get his attention.
“Mr Peter Nwaoboshi charges N1m and N300,000.00 fees for a chairmanship or councillorship aspirant, respectively, to have a personal audience with him. This is causing ripples across the state, and is likely to cause a serious political upheaval when the so called lists of nominated candidates are published,” they added.
Investigations by SaharaReporters show that the party’s chairman allegedly perpetrated the fraud between 2008 and 2010, when the elected council chairmen were still in office.
SaharaReporters further learned that Nwaoboshi was also given a contract running into several millions of naira to supply earth moving equipment to the Direct Labour Agency (DLA). That money, which also went the way of the councils, was used by the state house of Assembly that had earlier vowed to investigate the matter, but as a result of the pay-offs, could not do so.
Nwaoboshi described the allegations as “baseless,” saying that the petitioners are not serious people, who would stop at nothing to drag his name to the mud.
According to Nwaoboshi, the petitioners are only chasing dead issues, saying that he had never been afraid of being investigated, even as he attributed the allegations to what he called (the) ‘handiwork of his political opponents.’
Earlier this month the state party chairman and his thugs, allegedly had beat up the wife of the former national chairman of the PDP, Dr. Mrs. Mariam Ali, something Nwaoboshi, however, denied.