The embattled Managing Director (MD) of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Mr. Williams Makinde, the commission's Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Askia Ogieh, known for fraudulent and corrupt practices and other members of the commission are said to be tidying up fraudulent documents relating to all their recent corrupt dealings.
It will be recalled that in December 2015 Mr. Makinde allegedly used N50 million to host an end of the year party for workers and another N8 million for Christmas gifts while Mr. Ogieh and the commissioner representing Isoko nationality in the commission, Mr. Ovie Oghoore were embroiled in a fraud of N20 million meant for youths empowerment in the area.
An anonymous staffer in the Accounts Department of the commission confirmed that the commission officials were indeed hiding fraudulent documents used to loot DESOPADEC.
The source disclosed that it has come to the knowledge of the commission that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies are showing interest in the fraud and corrupt practices going on in the commission.
"The MD, especially the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Askia Ogieh are running scared as we speak.
“The cleaning up of documents was suggested by Mr. Ogieh, you know he is a big crook even when he was a local government chairman and as a regular guest to EFCC in the past, he knows exactly how to cover up his crimes,” the source informed SaharaReporers.
In order to combat these actions staff members in the commission have pledged to release sensitive documents to anti-graft agencies themselves. He went on to bitterly note that several of the commissioners live well beyond their means.
The anonymous staffer also expressed disbelief that Mr. Ogieh ever was given his position given the man’s numerous corruption charges. He concluded with a promise that he and his colleagues would continue to petition the EFCC to look into these corrupt commissioners.
An EFCC source disclosed to a SaharaReporters correspondent that a petition from a group called the Anti-Corruption And Integrity Forum was already received. The petition detailed the corrupt practices of the DESOPADEC MD, Executive Director, Finance and administration and others.
The petition which was also copied the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, and other relevant agencies within and outside the State, alleged financial misappropriation and recklessness from the commission. The petition focused particularly on the fraudulent and corrupt manner the MD was running the affairs of the commission.
The petition also accused Mr. Makinde for single handedly releasing the jailed former governor James Ibori's Daily Independent newspaper, the sum of N360 million on a yearly basis for 3 years and N270 million for a private Western Delta University owned by the jailed former governor. All of this comes at a time when the commission is finding it difficult to pay workers salaries and contractors.
Mr. Makinde was further accused in the petition of giving a bus to a private television, African Independent Television(AIT) in Oghara. The bus was provided because the State-owned television station lacks buses to carry out their duties effectively. Mr. Makinde also diverted over 50 mechanical bus parts, that were budgeted for schools in the oil producing areas, among other corrupt practices.
Governor Okowa last week summoned the commissioner to his office in Asaba over the serial fraud and corrupt practices going on since his tenure.
The governor, it was gathered, sounded a serious warning to the members and threatened to dissolve the commission should the fraud and corruption continue. Governor Okowa aimed the majority of his anger towards Mr. Ogieh whose actions concerning the N20 million allegedly cornered that sparked off the whole controversies.
At the time of filing this report, calls and messages sent to the Managing Director (MD) of the Commission, Mr. Williams Makinde as well as the Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Askia Ogieh were not responded to. However, a commissioner in the board, who pleaded for anonymity, confirmed that the documents were being disposed of.