Thursday, August 22, 2013

Senate Committee Chairman, Okowa, Accused Of 185m Fraud

A petitioner, Mr. Dumriri Uweh, has alleged that the Chairman, Senate
Committee on Health, Senator Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, representing
DeltaNorth senatorial district of Delta State, has defrauded him of
N185 million.
SaharaReporters gathered that the allegation is already generating
controversy among Okowa's political associates in his state and the
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and is causing the senator sleepless
In a petition sent to the Senate President David Mark, Mr. Uweh
accused Senator Okowa of allegedly collecting N185 million on his
behalf without remitting same to him.
A copy of the petition, which was obtained by SaharaReporters, titled
"Complaint As Non Implementation Of Agreement" was also sent to the
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamaga
Tukur; Chairman of the party's Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony
Anenih; the State Security Service (SSS) and the Political Adviser to
the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak.
Uweh stated that Okowa played a mediatory role in the settlement of a
political dispute between the former acting governor of Delta State
and member representing Ika North East constituency in the state
Assembly, Prince Sam Obi and himself (Uweh).
According to Uweh, "I contested against Prince Obi for the 2007 House
of Assembly primaries for the Ika North East state constituency in
which I defeated Prince Obi. Obi's name was wrongfully and illegally
substituted with my name and I had no option than to file a petition
before the Election Petitions Tribunal. In the process of the legal
battle,Obi was elected Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly and
later Acting Governor of the state upon the nullification of the
election of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan as governor in the last quarter
of 2010.
"As soon as Obi was sworn in as acting governor, I was approached for
an out-of-court settlement meeting in Abuja in order to allow for
stability in the polity by the Obi of Owa in Ika North East Local
Government and [rtd], Hon Justice S. A. Ehiwario, and some political
leaders on behalf of Obi in the state when it was eminent that the
case would swing in my favour where I was begged to withdraw my case
against Obi but the issue was not resolved until the second meeting
heldin Grand Hotel Asaba, Delta State capital where Senator Ifeanyi
Okowa served as the mediator on behalf of his friend, Obi, in
attendance were the Owa monarch, Hon Justice S. A. Ehiwario (rtd),
Jonathan Nnajiofor, my lawyer, Mr E. Azinge, SAN and his wife. Other
people Obi sent earlier on were in attendance. It is of note that all
the meetings were convened by Okowa.
"That very meeting resolved that Prince Sam Obi should pay me the sum
of N200 million as my campaign expenses apart from being appointed a
commissioner in the in-coming administration in the state from May 29,
2011. After that meeting, the sum of N15 million was subsequently paid
into my Zenith Bank account at different intervals with different
names through Senator Okowa and when asked he told methat he paid the
money at different intervals to avoid embarrassment from the Economic
and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) before he refused to deliver the
balance of N185 million till date and all my discussion on this matter
with Okowa was mostly through phones and can be printed out from MTN
if denied."
The petitioner lamented that the first breach of the agreement was his
being dropped as a commissioner after serving for only six months in
Obi's administration following the re-election of Governor Uduaghan.
"At the expiration of the time given, the balance of N185, 000,
000.00(One hundred and eighty five million naira) was not paid, and
all through phone calls proved abortive as Okowa refused to say
anything or pick my calls, he was also avoiding me. I later started
having strange visitors who called themselves 'killers' who said I
should drop the matter.
"When I dragged Obi to EFCC on this matter, it was there and then
Obitold me about the removal of my name as commissioner by Okowa and
Obi still confirmed to me that he has since given the N185 million to
Okowa as the mediator in the matter to be given to me."
Uweh disclosed that the PDP leadership in the state and some prominent
traditional rulers had intervened in the matter so that Okowa could
pay him the money but all to no avail, instead he alleged that the
federal lawmaker has been sending threat messages to him to drop the
matter or lose his life.
When contacted, Okowa who is warming up for the 2015 Delta State
governorship election, ignored all calls and SMS put to his mobile

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