By Emman Ovuakporie and Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-DEPUTY Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Albert Akintoye, Friday, alleged that the former minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Elder Godsday Orubebe embezzled the N110 million allocated for the constituency project for the Okitipupa\Irele federal constituency in Ondo state.
Akintoye made the allegation during the ministry’s 2014 budget defence with the House committee on Niger Delta Affairs, chaired by Hon Warman Ogoriba that of all the constituency projects in the 2013 budget all were executed except that of the Okitipupa\Irele federal constituency which the ministry could not provide answer to when it was raised.
When the issue was raised by the deputy chairman of the committee, Akintoye who was directly involved because he came from the area in question, the Acting Minister of the Ministry, Mr Deirus Ishaku could not come up with any reasonable explanation but the chairman of the committee assured his deputy that the committee would ensure that the money was fished out from wherever it vanished into.
The committee invited the ministry of Niger Delta and the office of the Special Adviser to the president on Amnesty to explain to the committee how the 2013 budget was implemented and what they proposed in the 2014 budget.
Speaking on the missing N110 million after the budget defence, Akintoye who felt bad that why should his constituency project could be singled out, stated that as the only PDP member from Ondo State, he would not allow anybody to rubbish his political career before his people.
He explained that “the fund was released for the constituency projects in the 2013 budget, but my constituency money was not released when all were released and all efforts since then to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of the money proved abortive”.
“I am the only PDP member from Ondo state in the House and as deputy chairman of the committee I’m not expected to be treated like this.
“The money is N110m and has been in the ministry in the 2013 budget and 99 percent of the money were released to the listed constituency to benefit from the funds”, he stated.
He pointed out that the former minister has embezzled the money therefore appealed to the ministry to go ahead and complete his constituency project this year so that his constituents could enjoy the Niger Delta funds since they also belong to Niger Delta.
Attempts to get the Acting minister Mr Deirus Ishaku to shed more light on the allegation proved abortive as he was not ready to respond to all the questions directed at him and his entourage when they left the venue of the budget defence.
Rather his police orderly chose to shove aside journalists as the minister insisted there was nothing like embezzlement anywhere “and I’m not ready to talk to the press. ”
Also, the committee has set up a technical team to be headed by the deputy Chairman, Albert Akintoye to screen the Amnesty Programme 2014 budget proposal of N35.830billion.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep Warman Ogoriba made the announcement at the budget defence on Friday.
He told the Amnesty Programme officials to come back this week to further defend their proposals after the technical team must have screened the budget properly.