The lawmaker representing Warri North in the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Michael Diden aka Ejele is in troubled waters, SecretReporters can authoritatively report.
His travail is not unconnected with a huge financial discovery that has passed through just one of his bank account in recent years, which cannot be explained. This discovery was made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of investigating a petition against the lawmaker.
The petition written by a group (names withheld for editorial reason) revealed how Ejele has diverted over N40 billion of Delta State funds through contracts and N200 million paid to him from the coffers of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
Our sources within EFCC revealed that their investigations on Ejele unearthed how over N15 billion DESOPADEC fund has passed through only his unity bank alone, which immediately gets withdrawn as soon as it is paid. Two weeks ago, he was invited to Lagos zonal office for questioning.
A fresh petition by Fejiro Oliver Whistleblowers Network (FOWN) to the EFCC Headquarters and Uyo office, as well as the Special Presidential Panel for Investigation, recovery and forfeiture of public properties (SPPIP), revealed more startling information to the commission and panel. The petition which was also addressed to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Special Fraud Unit (SFU) detailed how Ejele has diverted Delta State money for years without probe by the anti-corruption agencies as he boasted of having them on his payroll.
According to the petition signed by the Executive Director of the group, Comrade Fejiro Oliver, an investigative journalist and activist, Ejele in 2006 diverted N864 million which was paid to him for the cleaning of the Koko creeks. He never carried out the cleaning but the money was collected. Similarly, he used a company called Tharagu Nigeria Ltd to get a contract of N192 million for the construction of Koko bypass. Despite being paid, he never did the job till date. Ironically, the address of Tharagu listed which was said to be in Badagry as listed in the CAC documents does not exist. A trip to Badagry revealed a ramshackle building where an old woman lives. In the same 2006, he conspired with Onovin company to get a job for the construction of Koko Secretariat at the inflated price of N205 million. The job we gathered was abandoned until a petition to EFCC forced them to do it. Documents relating to these contracts were submitted to the anti-corruption bodies.
Under Andrew Osawota as DESOPADEC Secretary, the group told the anti-graft agencies that Ejele, a single individual borrowed the commission N50 million. Like fairytales, a voucher of N500 million was raised in less than two weeks and paid to Ejele. “This mystery needs to be investigated”, stated the group.
The whistleblowers Network called on the commission and other bodies to immediately invite Ejele, investigate and charge him to court to prove that they are not on his payroll as he boasted, as failure to do such will compel them to approach the court for an order of mandamus.
According to the group, properties acquired by Ejele through the diverted state funds are:
- Iye Plaza with six hundred stores, along refinery road, Warri, Delta State worth N1.7 billion
- Iye Suites (Hotel) also along refinery road, Warri, Delta State. It is worth N1.5 billion.
- Mega Praise Microfinance Bank, Warri, where he’s the Chairman alongside the illiterate wife. It is worth N1 billion.
- Two massive duplexes in Abuja. It is worth N1.5 billion
- Another mansion in Utako, Abuja.
- A filling station in Ubeji, Delta State
- An Estate in Abuja. It is worth N100 million
- A church located in Ejele close, Sapele, Delta State. It is worth N55 million
- A mansion located in Ejele close, Sapele, Delta State with over 20 cars inside. They are worth N700 million.
- A massive citadel in Army Barrack complex, Warri.
- Other smaller units of house in the complex using one Emeka as a front.
- A massive land in Sapele, opposite SEPLAT, the whole of waterfront.
- A yet to be identified duplex in Lagos.
- A building in London.
Calls to the legislator phone number didn’t go through as at press time.