The Managing Director (MD) of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Mr. Williams Makinde, has threatened to resign his position following what he called constant harassment and demands for several billions of naira in bribes by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Monday Igbuya.
SaharaReporters has learned that Speaker Igbuya’s harassment and demands for bribes are directly connected to the commission's 2016 budget which is before the State legislature. Mr. Igbuya has declared that he will not allow the budget to pass unless MD Makinde “greases the palms of himself and the other members of the House”.
A Personal Assistant (PA) to Mr. Makinde, speaking to SaharaReporters on the condition of anonymity, said that the MD was forced to travel to London in order to meet with former Delta State Governor James Ibori, who is serving a jail term in the United Kingdom for financial crimes.
Mr. Makinde was nominated for his current position by the former Governor. It was gathered that Mr. Makinde informed Mr. Ibori about Speaker Igbuya’s demands for millions in naira in bribes as well as the constant harassment directed towards the MD.
Mr. Makinde expressed frustration with the fact that the Delta House Speaker was preventing passage of DESOPADEC’s budget in order to squeeze money out of the commission.
"Our boss [Mr. Makinde] just returned from London last week. The pressure from the Speaker, Mr. Monday Igbuya, was becoming unbearable for him. Unless the Speaker and other members of the House receive millions of Naira in bribes, the DESOPADEC 2016 budget will never see the light of the day. The pressure was so much on our boss, he decided to travel to London to our overall boss, former Governor of the State, James Ibori,” the anonymous PA informed SaharaReporters.
Mr. Makinde’s frustrations grew so great that he threatened to resign his position. However, Mr. Ibori was able to convince the despondent MD not to resign and promised to call Speaker Igbuya in order to bring him to heel.
According to the PA, during his conversation with the imprisoned Mr. Ibori MD Makinde referred to Speaker Igbuya as a “known tout in Sapele”. The PA also expressed disdain towards the Delta House Speaker noting that Mr. Igbuya owed his position to “thuggery and dirty politics”.
Speaker Igbuya has been embroiled in numerous scandals involving attempts to bribe tribunal judges as well as an earlier attempt to threaten DESOPADEC over a contract to supply vehicles.
When contacted for comments on the issue, one of the media aides to the Speaker, Mr. Felix Ekwu, promised to contact his boss as well as the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Henry Ovie Ebireri. However, at the time of filing this report none of these individuals responded to our correspondent’s requests for a comment.
Meanwhile, it was learned that Speaker Igbuya is now scrambling to prevent these revelations from leaking to the press.