There is palpable tension and anxiety within the corridors of power in Delta State as investigations revealed that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), have been mobilised to arrest some close political associates and top aides to Delta state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
It was gathered that the grand plot to arrest Okowa’s ‘men’ which is majorly tailored to weaken the ruling People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) ahead 2023 general election, is part of a game plan allegedly being hatched by two senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Peter Nwaoboshi who are desperate to put the governor under control and railroad him ahead 2023 general election.
A top personnel at the ICPC, who craved anonymity, told BIGPENNGR that several aides of the governor and some political associates of the governor have been put on the watch list of anti-graft agencies over allegations leveled against them.
According to the officer who is in legal department of the anti-graft agency said, “There is a strong worded petition against some top aides of Governor Okowa. I can’t tell you the nature of the allegations for now but among those on the list is one of the principal aide of the governor.
Confiding in the BIGPENNGR, a senior security aide to one of the senator revealed that top on the list of persons under watch, is Okowa’s very long time aide and a very dependable youths mobilizer.
“I think he is the guy who works with Okowa directly in his office in government house Asaba. I can confidently tell you that Okowa right-hand man as they described him and the one who has been with him right from when he was a commissioner, SSG, Senator and now governor is the main target.
“The aide is so very popular, influential and number one strong man of Okowa. Always with the governor in thin and thick. As I talk to you now, the list is ready for action but I can confirm to you authoritatively that the governor’s long time aide and youth mobilizer is the number one on the list to be pick up.
“They want to clip that guy wings before election time. As I told you earlier there are other close political associates and aides to the governor that will be picked up too. It’s going to be a serious battle in the state.”, the source stated.
Multiple sources both in Asaba and Abuja revealed that, in the coming weeks, political associates and senior aides to the governor, shall be guests of the EFCC and ICPC.
One source told our correspondent, “I can also confidently tell you that everything boils down to the 2023 governorship elections”.
EFCC’S spokesman, Wilson Uwujeren couldn’t be reached for comment but an administrative officer at the agency who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that he was privy to the planned arrest, saying the “first target is one of the long time serving aide to the governor”.
According to him, “Yes, the story is very correct. We have a petition against some aides of governor Okowa and I think the number one person on the list, is the trusted long time aide to the governor, he’s a principal aide to the governor.
“Some other aides and political associates of the governor are also pencilled down and will be invited or arrested by the EFCC and ICPC. This is not new anyways, desperate politicians use petitions written to anti-grafts agencies to witch-hunt and intimidate their opponents.
“I think the 2023 dirty politics has started in Delta. Just wait, more petitions will be brought here for investigation from your state. I can confirm to you authoritatively with intelligence before us, an APC serving senator and a newly defected senator from the PDP to the APC are those behind these whole game.
“They have perfected all the plans, they have mobilised the EFCC and ICPC to begin the clamp down of close associates and aides of the governor, because the APC senator vowed to be the next governor of Delta state come 2023 at all cost.
A top political associate of the governor in Delta State when contacted said, “One of the senators in this grand plot forgot that in the past, he also held several political positions in the state. He was an executive assistant, commissioner and SSG before becoming a senator.
“All I can tell them is that they should not throw stones while living in a glass house. Their plans is to get at governor Okowa by using anti-graft agencies to intimidate and harass his political associates and aides. We are watching him and his cohorts but time shall tell.”
An executive member of the Delta state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), with knowledge of the issue, disclosed that the plot which is geared towards achieving the goals of 2023 is merely a witch-hunting act to harass, intimidate and blackmail opponents and destabilise Governor Okowa’s PDP camp ahead the general election.
“The issue is no longer a secret because some of these aides and close associates of the governor have been officially communicated to. Infact, in one of our recent meetings it was deliberated. Former and serving commissioners, political associates and aides of the governor have their names penned down.
“Especially, one of the principal aide to the governor, this aide is very close to the governor and good at mobilizing the youths. The sponsors of this plan are no other people but the two APC senators.
“Because of the 2023 governorship election and for fear of the unknown, they have decided to use the EFCC and ICPC to intimidate and harass people. You can’t kill the people in order for you to become a governor. We are fully ready for them”, he told one of our correspondent.
Two PDP Chieftains already pencilled down for possible arrest before the end of the tenure of the governor, are believed to be eyeing the Delta governorship alongside one of the APC senator who is also desperate to clinch the ticket of his party.
As at the time of filing this report, it was reliably gathered that invitations have been officially sent to the principal aide to the governor and few others by the anti-graft agencies.
There is however uncertainty in the state over the development as one source said there maybe a reprisal politically induced attack against chieftains of the state main opposition party since “they have decided to go dirty”.
One of our correspondent who contacted the state commissioner for information, Charles Aniagwu, for comment, reports that the commissioner simply said in a text message, “Sorry, I can’t talk right now.”, however an executive assistant to the governor and member of the state executive council, who pleaded for anonymity, confirmed the story, saying, “the battle will not be easy for the APC senators in the state”.
“Yes, the issue is true, even some of the concerned government officials have been sent official invitations. It’s a fact, I can authoritatively confirm to you and with intelligence before us, a Delta state senator, a principal officer and another senator who recently dumped the PDP for APC are those behind the underground EFCC and ICPC intimidation and harassment.
‘But, we are very ready for them. Don’t forget that before the senator left the PDP for the APC, he consistently attacked the governor verbally in the media and even vowed to come for the governor and his people.
“The senator, has this mindset that the governor and his people were behind his corruption cases with the EFCC and ICPC as such, he want to team up with the other colleague, who wants to governor Delta state by all means to retaliate”.