The Nigeria Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has started the investigation into the activities of the former Delta State Governor; Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and his closest associate believed to have conspired with him to rob Delta State dry.
Top on the list of his associates under investigation are his close relation and businessman, who are generally believed in security circles to have been Uduaghan’s greatest fronts in mobbing up funds meant for the development of the state.
The Nigeria Anti-Graft Agency, we learnt is looking at several loans, bonds and credits obtained by the Uduaghan’s administration and how they were spent, particularly a controversial N40 billion loan that was obtained towards the end of the administration.
Some members of the House of Assembly who were kept in the dark about the loan had moved to impeach the governor when it became public knowledge but the move was rebuffed by the House leadership with Hon. Peter Onwusanya as Speaker.
Nigeria News source disclosed that the then House Speaker, Peter Onwusanya, conspired with principal officers to approve the loan and in return were allegedly rewarded in cash for their effort.
The EFCC, according to sources in the commission and Presidency, was directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to commence investigations into the Uduaghan’s administration following dozens of petitions and complaints to the President by some Deltans.
According to an online news reports, THEWILL, a top official of the Delta State House as well as other officials of the state government have been repeatedly questioned in Abuja by the EFCC in the last two weeks as part of the investigations as the agency continues to build its case against the former governor.
“The Nigeria President directed the Chairman of the EFCC to look into Delta finances under outgone Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. The Petitions received from prominent Deltans against him were many,” a Presidency source who asked to remain anonymous told our source. A source at the EFCC said though investigations were still at the preliminary stage.
“Our officers are looking at how these loans were collected in the first place. Who approved and how they were approved… Did they follow due process? They are also looking at companies that were paid from the proceeds.
I believe we are working on the assumption that the payments may have been used to launder funds but we will see.
We will follow the funds until we are satisfied that they were not laundered using fronts,” the source said. Some of the main beneficiaries of the controversial N40 billion loan according to sources include a businessman and contractor.
Nigeria News gathered further that Uduaghan’s problems started when the transition committee commissioned by his successor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, uncovered a staggering debt profile of over N700 billion when they looked through the state’s finances.
The EFCC sources corroborated what is common knowledge amongst top Delta State Government personnel that a relation and businessman helped the governor manage the finances of the state and in the process shaved the state of billions in fees and commissions including phony contracts that were paid in full despite poor execution.
The contracts were mostly executed through companies controlled by proxies.