Intro: Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan has tagged his last lap of the race in Delta State as ‘Finishing Strong’. In consonance with this phrase, Secrets Reporters has taken chronicles of his regime and will be running a series on him till May 29th when he will be handing over to his successor.
If there is any Governor who will be sharing the platform of most corrupt Governors with the ones from Niger State, Babangida Aliyu and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, the lot will fall on the Medical Doctor turned politician from Delta State, Uduaghan. That he was born into a peasant background is not the story or the fact that he wooed his wife with an old Beatle also called tortoise car at Sido, Warri is again not the report, but how he has turned to a billionaire overnight at the detriment of the Deltans is what will make an interesting reading.
Just on the 17th of December 2014, he presented a whooping sum of N327.68 to the State House of Assembly for the 2015 fiscal year, a year that he will not be the governor. What is most worrisome is that such amount of money has been presented in the past and all gone down the drain like the water used in washing dirty plates.
In this series, we bring to you the colossal waste of the commonwealth which he pocketed alongside the failed guber aspirant and prodigal politician, Victor Ochei. In 2009, a company called Davnotch Nigeria Ltd submitted their bid for the award of the Delta State Independent Power Plant, Oghara, Ethiope West LGA, and hometown of former governor James Ibori. Exactly on June 23rd 2009, the contract was approved with Ochei’s company winning the bid in a game of nepotism. The contract was billed for N21.75 billion with sixty percent mobilization fee paid to Ochei. Mathematically, this amount was N13.05 billion.
Now the project completion date was agreed to be 24 months which was June 2011, but to the dismay of Deltans, the project as at the time of writing this report has not kicked off, with only some moribund equipments and pipes at the site. The project which ought to have been completed since 2011 till now has taken 42 months and the State Government has not issued a statement on the reason for the delay.
Taking the electorates for a ride, Uduaghan rather than invite the anti graft agencies to probe the then Speaker, Ochei, instead allocated a whooping N4 billion to it in the 2014 budget, with same allocated to it in 2011 and 2012 project. Till this moment, not a single kilowatt of electricity has been generated yet over N28 billion has been siphoned by the governor.
If that was an eyesore, then the Osubi ‘Airport’ which does not belong to Delta was another cash cow for the governor and his cronies. Reliable sources confirmed that Uduaghan has pumped N1.3 billion for the expansion and construction of a second runway. This private Airport also gulped N8 billion of our common treasury in the 2012 budget, yet none of the things paid for has been done. The pertinent question being asked by analyst is if the Osubi Airport now belongs to Delta. If it is, the MOU is needed as well as the amount it was bought.
Even in his own backyard, the governor has taken fraud to a new level, by appropriating N11 billion on the Trans Warri-Ode Itsekiri road and bridge, yet none of this can justify the money spent so far. As normal with his style of looting, he has budgeted more billions for this failed road in the 2015 budget. In 2011, the governor plunged the State into taking a bond of N150 billion with another taken in 2014 to finance the guber aspiration of his stooges which backfired on him. Checks revealed that Delta State will take 24 years to repay back this bond unless the next government is frugal with funds and finds other ways of generating revenue.