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CHRISTMAS: Delta widows reminiscent, eulogise Uduaghan, curse Okowa over embarrassing “5KGS” Rice




Okowa’s “miserable” Christmas gifts to Delta widows.

…..As Widows Abandon Okowa’s Christmas Gifts

Widows across Delta state on Christmas Day eulogised former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for what they described as always putting smiles on the faces of widows at yuletide season during the eight years of his administration.

The widows who were reacting to what they called “embarrassing and miserable” 5kgs rice, one litre of oil, two tin of tomatoes and a meagre N1,000 distributed to widows across the state by governor Ifeanyi Okowa through his wife, the first lady, Mrs. Edith Okowa, emphatically stated that, the least Christmas gifts each widow had received from former governor Uduaghan during Christmas celebrations through his wife, the first lady, Mrs. Roli Uduaghan were 25kgs bag of rice, four litre of oil and other ingredients, cash and wrapper.

Our correspondents who monitored the distribution of the Okowa’s Christmas gifts to widows in Ughelli South, Ughelli North, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Isoko North, Isoko South, Patani, and other local government areas report that the widows who were not happy over the quantity of the gifts when compared to what they had always received from the Uduaghan administration, poured encomiums on Uduaghan while they left Okowa led administration with curses.

Speaking with our correspondent, a widow who simply identified herself as Mrs. Dorcas Imire from Iyede lamented her rigorous journey from Iyede to Ozoro to pick up 5kgs rice, two tin of tomatoes, one litre of oil and a thousand.

“I regretted coming from Iyede to Ozoro in this scarcity of fuel just to be given a miserable 5kgs rice, one litre of oil, two tin of tomatoes and N1000. When my transport to and fro alone is over that N1000. In the time of former governor Uduaghan, it was never as bad as this and the almighty God will continue to bless Uduaghan in whatever he set to do. The Okowa Christmas gift was an insult and embarrassment.” She lamented.

Another widow who gave her name as Mrs. Juliana Akpomiemie, told our correspondent that “Okowa is a failure and will forever be a failure in all of his life. Upon all the allocations, Paris club refund and internal generated revenue, all Okowa could do is to insult us with his miserable 5kgs rice, one litre of oil, two tin of tomatoes and N1000. This was what Uduaghan was doing without any complaints and widows were so happy. He never gave us 5kgs of rice in his eight years. Uduaghan God bless you for us. It will never be well with Okowa.”

The Okowa’s “miserable” Christmas gifts to Widows in Delta State.

Also speaking, a headmistress who lost her husband four years ago said what were distributed to widows across the state was a total embarrassment and insult to the widows.

“Despite all the billions of naira accrued to Delta state Governor Okowa can’t buy something reasonable and more befitting for the widows to celebrate the season. Former governor Uduaghan was not like this and in his eight years he played a politics of human face with compassionate heart especially to the widows. Give Okowa twelve years he can never surpassed Uduaghan’s administration.

“Uduaghan is no longer in office but he singlehandedly gave some local government areas each 200 bags of 50kgs and 25kgs of rice and to individuals too across the state. We also saw on social media too his former SSG, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay distributing 50kgs and 25kgs of rice to his people, supporters, party leaders, elders in both Isoko North and Isoko South.”

“I read in the papers where Okowa said during his last week press conference that the finances of the state has improved and I want to ask what is Okowa using all the billions of naira to do that he can not afford to buy at least 25kgs of rice and four litre of oil and good money to celebrate the Christmas.? Whereas individuals bought 25kgs and in some cases 50kgs of rice and distributed to people.” she said.

Our correspondent reliably gathered that some of the widows after considering the scarcity of fuel and how much to be spent on transport to pick up a 5kgs rice, two small tin tomatoes, one litre oil and N1,000 decided to abandoned the governor’s “miserable” Christmas gifts.

We reliably gathered that Governor Okowa, it was also learnt allegedly refused to release money to his aides to buy Christmas rice for distribution to supporters and party faithful as a result in some local government councils, eight aides came together to contribute money to purchase eight bags of 50kgs rice and distributed to over 100 supporters and few party faithful.

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Insiders reveal: NHIS Chairman fighting Executive Secretary for exposing N1.5bn fraud, others



The resolve of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf to re-accredit the Health Management Organizations(HMOs) and ensure the implementation of a security report which mandated the ES to recover the sum of N1.05 billion allegedly embezzled by some HMOs may have pitched him against the Chairman of the NHIS Council, Dr. Enyantu Ifenne, this newspaper has learnt.
The executive secretary was last Thursday reportedly suspended indefinitely on the order of the council chairman ostensibly to allow unfettered investigation into a petition said to have been written against him some staff of the NHIS.
In a letter signed by its Chairman, Dr Eyantu Ifenne, the Council said “in line with the public service rule 030406, has resolved to suspend you, Professor Usman Yusuf, indefinitely with effect from 18th October 2018 to allow for a comprehensive and unfettered investigation of the issues in the petitions against you.”
However, staff of the organization kicked against the suspension claiming it was a unilateral decision by the chairman as seven out of the 11 council members reportedly walked out of the meeting. A senior Director of the organization instructed to take over from the ES in acting capacity also reportedly declined the offer in solidarity with staff.
In his response to the letter of suspension, Prof. Yusuf stated that contrary to the claims of the council that the NHIS Act and the Public Service Rules no.030406 conferred on it the power to suspend the executive secretary, it had no such powers, stressing that only the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria could order the suspension or removal of the ES.
Insiders with knowledge of the in-fighting in the NHIS explained that there was no love lost between the chairman of the council and the executive for reasons many of the staff consider as self-serving.
The most obvious reason, according to sources, is an alleged collusion between the chairman and HMOs which has considerably weakened the scheme but benefitted the HMOs. Since resuming as ES in 2016, Prof. Yusuf had indicated interest to sanitize the scheme and stop an alleged racket which had ensured that HMOs to NHIS funds for as long as they liked without paying hospitals offering service to enrollees in the scheme.
An internal audit carried out by the ES had also revealed a staggering number of ghost enrollees and hospitals while the HMOs continued to receive huge illegal payments. The Department of State Services (DSS) had also investigated the Scheme from 2013-2015, and one of the recommendations in its report is that HMOs should pay back the sum of N1.05b that they were illegally paid in 2015.
But it was learnt that even though the ES sought and got the council approval to recover NHIS funds and re-accredit the HMOs, the Chairman never supported the move. The Chairman reportedly called a Council meeting one week after the go-ahead was given and asked a representative of the HMOs to address them on why they should not pay back the money.
“The meeting was attended by only four of the 11 council members, and after the presentation the Chairman asked the HMOs not to pay back any money to NHIS,” a senior staff explained. On several occasions, the Chairman had also allegedly circulated council meetings among certain HMOs, an action that was frowned upon by the ES who warned against given undue access and advantage to some HMOs above others at a time they were being accredited.
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EXCLUSIVE: FG moves to arrest Delta Senator, James Manager, seize properties worth N5bn



The Okoi Obono-Obla-led Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for the Recovery of Public Property has summoned the senator representing Delta South Senatorial District at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, James Manager over fraud and illegal acquisition of properties worth over N5bn with government funds, THE WITNESS learnt.

The panel is investigating the PDP senator following a petition written by a group, Conduct and Due Process. The group is calling the SPIP to investigate and prosecute the Delta lawmaker and also to request that the illegal properties allegedly scattered all over Delta, Abuja and the USA be temporarily forfeited to the FG. Some of the alleged properties include: a mansion in USA, KFT Event Centre in Warri (the biggest centre in Delta), Bendel Estate in Warri, a mansion in Apo area in Abuja worth over N500m, amongst others. Sources further disclosed that detectives from the Presidency were in Warri and Asaba, Delta State capital last week Tuesday to trace and mark the illegal properties.

Though Sen. Manager is said to have travelled out of the country to China for a seminar organized and sponsored by the Senate, THE WITNESS reliably gathered that he is billed to appear before the panel in Abuja on October 25, 2018 at 10am.

In line with THE WITNESS investigative journalism practice, our reporter contacted the chairman of the panel, Chief Obla who confirmed the report. “It’s true, we are investigating Senator James Manager,” Obla said.

Efforts to reach Sen. Manager for his angle to the reports proved futile as calls and text messages placed to his mobile line were not responded to as at press time.

More details as events unfold…

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Again, Captain Idahosa Okunbo denies report linking him with alleged fraud



Respected businessman cum philanthropist, Captain Hosa Okunbor, has caused to be issued again a statement dissociating him from the controversial oil swap deal involving former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.

An unverified news report currently being circulated among Whatsapp users, which listed some Nigerian businessmen as beneficiaries of the said fraud, is a rehash of a report published in 2015 by a news portal,, which it had since retracted as Okunbor was never listed among the perpetrators.

A statement released by the media team of Captain Okunbor reads, “As widely known, Captain Okunbor is neither under any probe nor facing any litigation over oil scam. The current administration, which has made anti-corruption its mantra and made giant strides in that respect, has not found Captain Okunbor or any of his businesses questionable or culpable of any underhand dealings. It is therefore horrifyingly unprofessional that some people, who perhaps saved the earlier report for hideous purposes apparently, have made it a habit to rehash and circulate it on a periodical basis on social media platforms especially on Whatsapp to unsuspecting contacts who in turn send it as broadcast messages.”

The statement reads further, “We, therefore, urge the public to disregard the report, which as far as we are concerned, is a product of the puerile imagination of blackmailers masquerading as bloggers, and fifth columnists who have clearly demonstrated that they have an axe to grind with the widely respected businessman.”

“It bears reiterating that Captain Okunbor has nothing to do with the controversial offshore processing agreements, OPAs, known as oil swap, involving the former Minister of Petroleum and others,” the statement concluded.
Captain Okunbor is a seasoned investor in diverse sectors of the economy spanning petroleum, marine, construction engineering and agriculture. His Hosa Wells Greenhouse Farm Limited, the first indigenously owned commercial greenhouse farm in Nigeria, launched its first fruits harvest last month, thus, blazing the trail with its all-year-round farming, which has been appraised as a novel initiative.

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