Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa pressured the Nigerian Army to release his aide following his arrest for involvement in an oilfield explosion last week

The Special Assistant on Youth and Community Development to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Monday Owhesiri, who waas arrested along with two others by the 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, for allegedly masterminding last week’s explosion of oil pipelines belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Ighwrenene community, has been freed after gratifications and severe pressure was mounted on the Army by Governor Okowa.

Allegedly, Mr. Okowa boasted at several occasions that if he remains Governor of Delta State none of his cronies, political associates, hitmen, relations, close friends will be jailed.

This weekend, the Operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) freed Owhesiri by claiming that the Governor's aide was framed. However, in a confessional statement, the other suspects divulged that the governor's aide was behind the explosion. At a press briefing JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Isa Ado, gave the names of the suspects as Dennis Oneya and Emmanuel Joseph (aka Ajegunle) of the Uduere and Afiesere communities.

The army also noted that the suspects admitted they were hired by Moris Idiovwa of Orogun community who is currently at large. They had a meeting with Idiovwa at an undisclosed hotel in Ughelli and agreed to embark on the act in order to hasten the approval of the said contract by NPDC for the youths.

Meanwhile, individuals of the army have mixed feelings about the unconditional release of the governor's aide, which they described as a bad omen and example of the over bearing intervention of the Governor.

They view the aide’s release as a sure sign of impunity.

"Okowa has been saying that he has zero tolerance for vandalization of oil pipelines in the State but still he mounted pressure on us to release his aide who was involved in oil vandalization. Why preaching one thing and doing another contrary thing," an aggrieved army source lamented.

A few weeks ago, Governor Okowa ordered the Delta State police to immediately free his hit man and former Oshimili North local council transition committee Chairman, Innocent Esewezie, who allegedly murdered one Emeka Onianwa during the April 11, 2015 governorship and House of Assembly elections at the residence of Fred Ajudua while Fred and his wife Patience and others watched the killing.

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