09 November 2015, Asaba – Managing Director, MD, of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Chief William Makinde, yesterday dismissed claims that he frittered away N650 million.
Makinde also denied reports that he awarded a contract to Erhitake Ibori, a member of the state House of Assembly and daughter of a former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, to supply vehicles to the commission.
In a statement, by his Special Assistant on Media, Dr. Prince Orhomonokpaye, Chief Makinde said: “I have read through the report and I am surprised that the media could write such a frivolous report that is unfounded. The issue sited in the report that DESOPADEC MD paid a national newspaper (name withheld) N350 million as debt from advert publications, squandered N270 million and withdrew N1.5 billion DESOPADEC funds from Sterling Bank are baseless and have no iota of truth. No contract was awarded to the daughter of former Governor James Ibori to purchase vehicles for the commission as reported in the print and social media.”
In a related development, Executive Assistant to the Delta State Governor on DESOPADEC, matters, Chief Emuobo Gbagi, condemned the recent protest by some youths against the commission.
Chief Gbagi, at a meeting with the state executives of host communities, HOSTCOM, in Warri, took a swipe at the youths for not exploring available peaceful channels before embarking on their protest.
Describing his office as a bridge between the government and parties involved in the development of oil bearing communities, Gbagi urged those aggrieved over the activities of the board to channel their complaints to the governor through his office.
Earlier, the state chairman of HOSTCOM, Dr. Peter Egedegbe, while appealing for patience with the new DESOPADEC board, described HOSTCOM as the watchdog of DESOPADEC.
He said: “As an oil bearing community development agency, DESOPADEC was established and commissioned as a result of the agitation of HOSTCOM. Our main purpose is the development and posterity of the commission and we will partner with the state government in achieving this goal.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner representing Okpe, Ethiope West and Sapele on the board of DESOPADEC, Jonathan Amitaye, has donated cash and various items, including bags of rice, garri, beans, groundnut oil, palm oil and toiletries to an Orphanage