CLOSING DOWN SALES: Uduaghan on Half Price Give-Away of Govt Cars as He Prepares to Handover
Time is running out fast for the Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan. On 29 May 2015, the curtain will be drawn on his uneventful reign as the number one citizen of the State. And it appears that his idea of “finishing strong” is to embark on clearance sales of whatever government property he can lay his hands on.
Xclusive Magazine has uncovered the on-going less-than-half-price sales of over 1,200 brand new Toyota Corolla and Camry cars. Dr Uduaghan had purchased these cars with Delta State money to be given as perks to those who would support his candidacy for senate and that of his then preferred governorship candidate, Sir Anthony Obuh.
Those plans were flushed down the toilet when Uduaghan failed woefully to deliver Obuh, whom he had to abandon two days to the governorship primary to endorse the governorship candidacy of David Edevbie and as he also failed to realise his ambition to run for senate. His attempt to discourage sitting senator James Manager from running for another Senate term against met a brickwall and he had to step down for Manager before the senatorial primary elections.
Xclusive Magazine reliably gathered that these cars, which were bought at government price of N4.2million as against Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of N3.5million, are now seen as surplus to requirement and are being flung at a give-away price of N1million each to mainly Uduaghan’s Special Advisers, Assistants and those who supported Great Ogboru’s governorship agenda within Uduaghan’s government. Xclusive Magazine reported on 6 March 2015 that Uduaghan made a secret pact with the Delta State Labour Party governorship candidate Great Ovedje Ogboru to deliver him as the next Governor of the State, while pretending in the open that he was supporting Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
Some “senior boys” in Uduaghan’s government have capitalised on the low price of these cars by buying many of them as treats for their girlfriends. We gathered that one Mr Akpeti alone, who is Uduaghan’s chief of Staff, bought as many as three Toyota Camry cars and shared to his girlfriends.
A source identified as simply “John” informed Xclusive Magazine that the closing down sales are being coordinated on behalf of Governor Uduaghan by the State Commissioner for Transport Mr. Benson Igbakpa, whose house in Sapele now passes for an auto shop, judging by the fleet of these “tear rubber” cars on display in his sprawling compound. It could be recalled that Mr. Igbakpa came under fire in October last year for burning over 200 commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada-riders.
Regrettably, the proceeds from the sale of these cars will not go back into State coffers from where the money used to purchase them was taken. Rather the money is now being set aside to be used as a golden handshake with senior commissioners and very loyal aides at a later date before the termination date of Uduaghan’s government.
This is not the first time 60-year-old Uduaghan will be perfecting an audacious plan that involved the use of State funds as farewell gifts to loyal aides. Some time ago, Secret Reporters revealed that Uduaghan had concluded plans to draw N50 billion bond from the capital market of which “over N40 billion will be diverted to private pockets as farewell gifts for loyal aides.”
The exposé had sent serious panic in government circles to the extent that a very angry governor Uduaghan had to issue an order to the Commissioner for Information Hon. Chike Ogeah (Esq) to, as a matter of utmost urgency, quickly put up a rebuttal.
Mr Ogeah explained in a hurriedly prepared press statement that was sent out to select media houses thus: “The Delta State Government had the option of drawing the second tranche of N50 billion from the N100 billion bond programme. However, this option has not been exercised and there is no plan whatsoever to activate it as the administration winds down.”
A source inside Uduaghan’s government has dismissed Ogeah’s rebuttal as a cock and bull story. He said: “The Commissioner for Information is being clever by half. If you read between the lines, you will notice that Mr Ogeah has not said the N50billion bond does not exist nor is the money not there for the taking; he has only said that there is no plan to draw it.”
The insider source insists that Uduaghan may still go ahead to draw the N50 billion bond from the capital market, as the plan is already at an advance stage before the information was leaked to the media, and it is now almost impossible to go back.
She explained that the new plan is to quietly draw the N50billion this April, and by June or July when SEC will officially list the Delta State N50 billion bond on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Uduaghan would have been at least two months out of government, leaving Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to clear the mess.
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