By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
A group under the auspices of Concerned Nigerians have urged the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) to immediately launch investigation into a recent loan of N150billion approved by the state house of assembly.
Convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju in a petition on Friday, addressed to the Chairman of the anti-graft agency described the loan as a last minute looting by the state government to fund elections.
Adeyanju lamenting that, it has become a practice for State Governments to obtain huge loans under the guise of public interest but subsequently divert same into private pockets.
Statement reads: “We write this petition to you in our capacity as a pro human rights and anti corruption group, seeking the urgent investigation of the Delta State Government, over its attempt to loot the One Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira loan (N150,000,000,000) loan recently approved by the Delta State House of Assembly.
“At a time when the nation is engrossed with the commencement of electioneering process leading to the 2023 election, it is alarming to note that the Delta State Government has initiated and secured the approval of the Delta State House of Assembly to obtain a humongous loan of N150,000,000,000.
“Curiously, this loan has been approved just few weeks to the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party where Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is rumoured to have a vice presidential ambition. We are, therefore, constrained to ask: What is the purpose of this loan?
“In recent times, it has become a practice for State Governments to obtain huge loans under the guise of public interest but subsequently divert same into private pockets. We recall that just few months ago, the Kogi State government obtained a similar loan with a view to paying workers’ pension/salary but subsequently diverted same into a private account. It took the intervention of your Commission before the money could be returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“It is on the basis of the foregoing that we believe that the N150,000,000,000 Naira loan sought to be obtained by the Delta State government is an attempt at last minute looting. Sadly, the Delta State House of Assembly who should ordinarily investigate this loan and protect the citizens, is in bed with the Executive Arm and has turned a blind eye.
“We, therefore, call on you to investigate this loan, trace the money and ensure that same is not channelled towards any purpose other than people’s-oriented projects.”
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