The worst is yet to be heard of the Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, as the race to 2019 is at the corner, the devil in the governor has woken up to silent any one perceived to be an enemy.
In 2013 while Okowa was pursuing his governorship ambition, a former Commissioner of Commerce and Industry in the state, Hon Dumbiri Uweh, raised a petition to the then Senate President, David Mark dated April 8th, 2013 in which Senator Okowa was said to have collected N185 million on behalf of Hon Uweh without remitting same to him.
The petitioner also said that the Okowa has also been sending assassins on his trail threatening him to drop the matter that is already before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In the petition copied to the then National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamaga Tukur, then Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, the State Security Service (SSS) and the then Political Adviser to the former President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, the embattled senator was said to have played the role of a mediator in the settlement of a dispute between the former Acting Governor of Delta State and member of the state House of Assembly representing Ika North East constituency then and who is presently the Special Adviser to the governor on Inter Government Affairs and Special Duties Prince Sam Obi and the petitioner, Mr Uweh.
According to Hon. Uweh, he contested against Prince Obi for the 2007 House of Assembly primaries for the Ika North East state constituency in which he defeated Prince Obi.
But Prince Obi’s name was wrongfully used to replace his name, the development which made him to file a petition before the Elections Petitions Tribunal.
In the process of the legal works, Prince Sam 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.
The petitioner affirmed that he was approached in a meeting in Abuja by the Obi of Owa in Ika North East Local Government and (Rtd) Hon Justice S. A. Ehiwario on behalf of Prince Obi and some political leaders in the state when it was eminent that the case would swing in his favour for out of court settlement in order to allow for stability in the polity.
But the issue was not resolved until the second parley held at Grand Hotel Asaba, Delta State capital where Senator Okowa served as the mediator on behalf of his friend, Prince Obi, with his own lawyer, Mr E. Azinge, SAN and Mr Jonathan Nnajiofor as well as the other people Prince Obi sent earlier on were in attendance.
According to Hon Uweh, the meeting resolved that Prince Sam Obi paid him the sum of N200 million as the campaign expenses demanded by him apart from been appointed a commissioner in the in-coming administration in the state from May 29, 2011. N15 million was subsequently paid to his bank account in two tranches through Senator Okowa before he allegedly refused to deliver the balance of N185 million.
The petitioner claimed that the first breach of the agreement was his been dropped as commissioner after the re-election of Governor Uduaghan, adding that he served for only six months as commissioner which was against the earlier agreement.
Prince Obi was said to have confirmed to the EFCC that he had fulfilled the tenets of the agreement by paying the balance N185 million through Senator Okowa when the anti-graft agency investigated the matter.
He said the PDP leadership in the state and some prominent traditional rulers had intervened to no avail to ensure that the embattled senator paid him his money. Rather, Senator Okowa has been sending threat messages to him to drop the matter or lose his life while he has since been avoiding his calls.
In another petition dated December 5th, 2013 also copied to the EFCC and the former Senate President David Mark, Hon. Uweh said on 21st of November of same year two men led by one ASP John Idoko came to his house at No. 8 Uweh Street, Boji-Boji Owa, Ika North East local government area of the state asking to discuss privately with him as he was in the company of three friends whom he gave their names as Mr. James Okioma, Mr. Roland Egwu and one Mr. Memeh.
According to him, “the team leader, ASP Idoko told me they are friends to Senator Okowa, for whose reason they are visiting me to inform me he has agreed to pay and also added that Okowa asked them to see me and appeal to me to support his governorship ambition”.
Uweh said that ASP Idoko has continued to call him to compensate him when the money was finally paid as they have investigated the state government, police and the EFCC to know their roles in the matter as the money is getting ready to be paid by Okowa, saying that “they promised to invite me to EFCC Abuja office as the money owed was getting ready to be paid by Senator Okowa. Since then, I started getting calls from this ASP Idoko telling me to compensate them when the money is paid”.
He said on 2nd of December, 2013 Idoko called him to say that due process within EFCC has disturbed their going to Asaba, to collect vital documents on the matter from the Delta State government but if he could finance their journey with N150, 000 to fast track the settlement of the matter, “believing they were security agents that meant well, I demanded for their account number and bank against their demand to receive the money in cash. I paid in N120, 000 to account number 2063284131, UBA Bank with account name Adagbor Patrick. N90, 000 was paid on 2nd December, 2013 while N30, 000 was later paid on 3rd December, 2013 but they complain that N120, 000 will not be enough to take their journey and hotel accommodation”.
He revealed that on 4th of December, 2013 Mr. Idoko called him again to ask for another N100, 000 that the team visiting Asaba, have been increased to four persons thereby increasing cost, noting that at that point he became suspicious and called the EFCC for clarification and verification, saying that Mr. Idoko told him that security agents handling his matter have been transferred out of Abuja, “I then called one of the security agents (EFCC) I have known on this matter, Mr. Hamza to complain of the happening and he told me that they are fake and that he (Hamza) is still on the matter”.
Furthermore, “Uweh said on 5th of December, 2013, Idoko called him to inquire if I will be putting in the N100, 000 they demanded but I lost my temper and I called him fake and a thief. He said they will deal with me because of my petition against Okowa, they also send me these text messages “I am ready for you. Return that car to Delta State government and money you stole. They also added that they will kill me even if it will cost their lives because of Senator Okowa whose governorship ambition means so much to them and the cabal”.
Uweh who expressed deep worries over the situation, said, “I am deeply bordered by the desperation and political gang up against me by Senator Okowa and his group of fraudster and assassins. I wish to bring to your notice, the many petitions I wrote the police on threat of life and many dangerous experience I had with criminals, kidnappers and killers which the police is handling but the senator continues to intimidate and plan with fraudsters and killers to eliminate me”.
In the meantime, our correspondent gathered that the fraudsters (fake EFCC) who were trailed to Port Harcourt by the Anti-Craft Agents where they are staying with their families are presently at large, leaving their wives and children behind even as their phone numbers as contained in the second petition are currently switched off.
News of Hon Uweh’s death which filtered into town was confirmed by a family source on 17th January 2017, who said Uweh died in December 2016.