SEASON OF LETTERS: Ex-PDP chief petitions Buhari over “blank budget scandal” in Delta

By Damilola Adeniran
OrderPaperToday – The immediate past National Deputy Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, has written an open letter to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari over what he described as “hydra headed corruption and malignant impunity that is currently dancing and celebrating in the Delta State House of Assembly.”
In a letter dated 4th October, 2017 and made available to OrderPaperNG, Dr. Ojougboh claimed that the Delta State House of Assembly approved, signed and returned a blank budget to the State Governor, Dr.Ifeanyi Okowa, thereby giving the state government the leverage to appropriate state funds haphazardly.
“Mr. President, ten (10) members of the Delta State House of Assembly informed me (in strict confidence; that their names and families be protected) of the high level of fraud that is currently ongoing in their legislative House where they ply their trade as Law makers.
“According to them they were emboldened when they learnt that I had left the PDP on 16th September 2017 and they felt the urgent need to now confide in me that I have left the PDP.
“The very important issue at hand is that the members confessed to me that up till 3rd day of October they have not seen, sighted or read a copy of the Delta State 2017 budget.
“The Hon. Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Sherrif Oborevwori signed only the last page of the budget and returned same to the Government; the Government then fills in the blank arbitrarily and apportions appropriation at will.”
Dr. Cairo Ojougboh called on President Buhari to intervene by directing the relevant government agencies to conduct a proper investigation into the allegations levelled against the state government and the State House of Assembly.
See full text of the letter below:
Mohammadu Buhari (GCFR)       4th October, 2017
President Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Aso Villa,
Abuja.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA MOHAMMADU BUHARI (GCFR) ON THE ISSUANCE OF A BLANK BUDGET BY THE DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY TO THE GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE.
The above subject matter refers;
Mr. President, it is with heavy heart distress and grief that I write you this letter, Mr. President; I am an Indigene of Agbor, Ika South L.G.A of Delta State, former member of the House of Representatives, former Presidential Liaison Officer to the Senate and SSA to the President, former National Vice Chairman South South of the PDP and immediate past National Deputy Chairman of the PDP. This is to bring to your notice the hydra headed corruption and malignant impunity that is currently dancing and celebrating in the Delta State House of Assembly.
Mr. President, ten (10) members of the Delta State House of Assembly informed me (in strict confidence; that their names and families be protected) of the high level of fraud that is currently ongoing in their legislative House where they ply their trade as Law makers. According to them they were emboldened when they learnt that I had left the PDP on 16th September 2017 and they felt the urgent need to now confide in me that I have left the PDP.
The very important issue at hand is that the members confessed to me that up till 3rd day of October they have not seen, sighted or read a copy of the Delta State 2017 budget. The Hon. Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Sherrif Oborevwori signed only the last page of the budget and returned same to the Government; the Government then fills in the blank arbitrarily and apportions appropriation at will.
The Chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the Delta State House of Assembly and the entire members have not sighted the budget break down and estimates as the conventional practice, the actions of the Speaker with the active connivance of the Government amounts to issuance of a blank 2017 budget and appropriation for Delta State.
Mr. President, I dare any member of the Delta State House of Assembly to produce a copy of the approved budget estimate signed by the Chairman Appropriation Committee, the Clark and the Speaker, let any member display same on any website.
Mr. President, I had the opportunity to speak with Prof. Sam Oyovbaire on issues of impunity and corruption in Delta State. For your information Prof. Sam Oyovbaire presented Dr. Okowa to the Urhobo nation and Okowa was accepted by the Urhobos due to the person of Prof. Sam Oyovbaire. I told Prof. Sam Oyovbaire that he has a name and integrity to protect, that he should disassociate himself from the mess going on in Delta State.
I therefore in all humility call on Mr. President who is credited by the International Committee not to own a single house and bank account outside Nigeria, who won the presidential general election against an incumbent President due to your anti-corruption credentials to kindly deploy your good offices to cause a thorough investigation into the fraud currently in Delta State through the Blank Budget and appropriations issued by the Delta State House of Assembly by the anti graft agencies.
Mr. President, I am 58 years old, a soldier of truth, if I cannot stand to defend my people on matters of this nature and injustice, then I will not be fair to my God and conscience. It is most excruciating and painful that our hard earned State resources are being stolen in broad day light.
DEMANDS
Mr. President, I humbly on behalf of the good people of Delta State plead and solicit of you to passionately cause and direct the relevant Government Agencies to investigate the above allegation against the Delta State House of Assembly.
I want to assure you, as the 2019 general election draws near, that over two (2) million votes are at stake in Delta State, your reward for addressing the fraud in Delta State shall be total unequivocal support for you and your Government and your Great Party the APC.
Mr. President, Delta State is dying. Kingly direct the EFCC, DSS, ICPC and Code of Conduct to investigate.
Kindly accept the assurances of my highest esteem.
Truly Yours,
Dr. Cairo Ojougboh
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