The recent order given by President Muhammadu Buhari for a coordinated probe of the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is unnerving the campaign of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 gubernatorial election.
Mr. Saturday Uwuilekhue, the former commissioner representing Edo State on the board of the NDDC, who is the conduit, is said to be on the run over the billions of naira he looted from the commission, some of which he has channeled to the APC candidate’s campaigns on the directives of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the APC.
Recall that Uwuilekhue had indicated interest to contest for the governorship ticket on the platform of the APC, but was asked to step down by Oshiomhole.
Uwuilekhue is reported to have diverted funds meant for NDDC projects in Edo State, when he served as commissioner, including the money approved for the construction of his street, Aifuwa, in Upper Sokponba area of Benin City, which has since been abandoned.
Several such abandoned projects are in virtually all parts of the catchment area of the NDDC in the state.
A source, who wouldn’t want his name published, said the former Edo State NDDC commissioner was ordered by Oshiomhole to part-finance the APC candidate’s election with the money he ‘made’ (referring to loot) from the agency.
Those close to Uwuilekhue said he bought over existing petrol stations and houses in choice locations in Benin City and elsewhere, and kept a huge war chest for his failed governorship aspiration.
“The Presidential directive is disturbing, given the personality of President Buhari. The Oshiomhole camp is worried that this probe will not be like previous probes that did not produce any result. We know for a fact that the Edo State former commissioner made a lot of money from the NDDC and we also know that he is one of the financiers of the APC governorship candidate in the September 19 election,” the source added.