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Edwin Clark writes EFCC, alleges Okowa ‘misappropriated over N1.7 trn’


Edwin Clark writes EFCC, alleges Okowa ‘misappropriated over N1.7 trn’

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Edwin Clark, convener of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has alleged that Ifeanyi Okowa, former governor of Delta, misappropriated the state’s derivative fund amounting to N1.760 trillion.

Clark said he had written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the involvement of Okowa in the floating of Premium Bank, which he allegedly used to lodge all the derivation funds.

Clark, who spoke in an interview on Wednesday, said the former governor “autocratically mismanaged the funds”.

He added that Okowa sidelined the Delta state oil producing areas development commission (DESOPADEC).

DESOPADEC is an interventionist agency established to manage a 13 percent oil derivation fund to drive infrastructural development of the oil-producing communities in the state.

“Okowa said he had been spending the money. Their answer was that they spent N5 billion on paying pensioners. How does that come under 13 percent?” Clark asked.

“And they also spent the money building a university in Okowa’s village. I mentioned in the letter [to the EFCC] that Okowa has 13 companies. I told him he put the 13 percent (derivation funds) into these 13 companies and let him deny it.

“The one paid to Delta state came to N1.767 trillion. Instead of paying 50 percent (of the N1.760 trillion) to the DESOPADEC as provided by the law, which is automatic, he now held the 13 percent fund — the entire money, dishing out instalmentally and approving every contract the DESOPADEC had awarded.

“So, Okowa has embezzled our money. It’s not even accounted for in his annual budget.”