Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State on Wednesday in Abuja lampooned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accusing it of working for the interests of foreign countries.
Reacting to an allegation that he was using the state machinery to prevent former Governor James Ibori from being prosecuted, he said the anti-corruption body was asking his administration to do what was considered unconstitutional in its case with the former governor.
Uduaghan, who spoke to State House correspondents after the swearing in of Mr. Peter Orubebe as minister representing Delta State, said the EFCC wrote requesting that his government furnish it with, among others, details of security votes of the state from 1999 to 2007.
“The state is too small to prevent anybody from being prosecuted. What actually happened which you people must understand and I must explain is that we had a letter from EFCC that we should give a statement of account from 1999 to 2007 of security votes and details, statement of accounts of projects above N50 million from 1999 to 2007 and we looked at the constitution and said this is not right especially for the issue of security vote.
“Security is a very sensitive matter and we have national interest as far as security is concerned. Why should I give out statement of account of security votes from 1999 to 2007 to a body that will eventually give it to another country?” he queried, adding that the state government took the matter to court, so the law could be interpreted if the EFCC was right or not in making such a demand.
Commenting on the swearing in of Orubebe as minister, the governor explained that the disagreement which led to his (Orubebe) being stopped from taking his oath of office alongside his colleagues on October 24, had been amicably resolved.
“The issues have been resolved. When he was brought last time the issues were not resolved and Mr. President graciously accepted that we go back and resolve those issues before the swearing in and we have resolved the issues”, he further stated.
Describing the issues involved in the disagreement as political, Uduaghan with whom was the Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, however, declined to comment further, saying “the details are not really necessary at this time”.
Asked if by the resolution of the disagreement, Chief Clark had come on board his administration, he quipped: It’s not an issue of him coming on board, he is our father, he is our leader. He has always been on board; he has always been the leader of the South South and the captain in the ship. So, it’s not a question of whether he is on board or not. He is my leader and he has remained so.”
Also speaking on the same issue, Clark confirmed that the disagreement had been amicably resolved and there is now political harmony in the state, adding that with it, the governor now has his blessing.
– The Sun