The last may not have been heard concerning the multi-billion Naira Delta State Secretariat building project currently ongoing in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Information reaching this medium has it that the project is a conduit pipe by the state governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa to allegedly siphon funds ahead of the 2019 election.
Contrary to the public procurement act, the award of the N13 billion secretariat, this newspaper gathered didn’t follow due process as North China Construction Company was given the contract without competitive bidding.
Further investigation revealed that North China Construction Company is not a foreign firm like the name suggests, but a solely Nigerian owned company by one Osadebey Osakwe, a former Zenith Bank manager who allegedly helped Gov. Okowa with funds during the 2015 election. The contract to him is allegedly a way of the governor paying him back, while Osakwe also helps in sponsoring the forthcoming gubernatorial election in 2019.
This newspaper learnt that Gov. Okowa’s sister, Ivana Shenton is actually the front for the construction company. Competent sources confided in our reporter that she brought the company and allegedly used Osadebey who was already known to the Governor to act as an Engineer whereas, he’s just a banker.
According to an angry source who’s deeply involved in the project: “Since the construction work began, it has been filled with nepotism as all the jobs are awarded and allocated only to Okowa’s relative.”
“The Governor’s elder sister is allegedly in charge of supplying diesel to run the equipment used in the site, Wisdom and Tony Okowa, also relatives of the Gov. Okowa are in charge of supplying granites.”
“It’s a contract of man know man. Go there now and tell them to give you part of the job and they will ask you for a note from the Governor or his relatives. They are circulating the money among themselves, so they can use it to rig in 2019 elections.”
When The Witness tried to confirm the story, neither the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah nor the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu responded to our inquiry as at press time.