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On Uduaghan’s Role As Special Guest At Editors’ Confab In Port Harcourt

uduaghan

Fred Ijeh

The publicity extended to All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) in Port Harcourt regarding Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s participation may have just smoked him out of his hole. For anti-corruption crusaders, this is it.

This opportunity to arrest ex-governor Emmanuel Uduaghan over many allegations of looting the Delta State treasury should not escape the knowledge of the ICPC and EFCC. Indeed, the crime fighting agencies in Nigeria should not fail on this if really they are desirous of addressing corruption without bias.

It is huge irony that editors of newspapers invited someone they have written to tatters on his ill-gotten wealth and corruption antecedent to their major annual event to deliver a keynote address.  If not for blatant desire for money and greed, why should any credible organisation invite someone like Gov Emma Uduaghan with gross accusations of stealing billions of Naira from Delta State to such an important event like All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) in Port Harcourt?

This is why many people believe that journalists are highly insincere in the corruption fight and are allegedly involved in abetting corruption for self-interest.

On this Uduaghan’s proposed public lecture, I think it is a good opportunity for Concerned Deltans and Civil society groups in Port Harcourt to legitimately and orderly lead a major protest against Uduaghan’s public participation at the event. The EFCC and ICPC cannot deny it has many petitions against Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan because some of them are even on the internet.

Even, if they may claim there is none in their possession, the fact is that these agencies really do not need any petition on Dr. Emma Uduaghan because it is a settled matter in law that financial crime fighting organisations can initiate investigations and prosecute without any petition. The information in the media is enough for Governor Uduaghan to be caged and charged without any petition especially given that there is a landmark judicial pronouncement by the justices of the Court of Appeal where the presiding Judge, Hon Justice Obande F. Ogbuinya, of the Court of Appeal in his judgment citing sections 6[a] and 27[3] of ICPC Act ruled that the ICPC has such powers, That the present administration of Delta State under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is struggling to pay salaries is very sad. How then can such a government deliver good governance if the billions of naira stashed away by his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan are not returned?

No one should expect any magic from Okowa. Even though Okowa has started well, his promises of taking Delta to a new level may end up as oral gymnastics if Uduaghan’s impunity is not addressed. It is easy to imagine why the Delta State government cannot initiate a probe on Dr Uduaghan but if the truth be told, if Delta State must grow under the Okowa administration, the good men and women in our society must speak against Uduaghan’s financial impropriety and alleged stealing whilst in office.

It is ridiculous that an organisation of editor’s which ought to be the whistle blower and watchdog for the society is glorifying corruption merely because alleged thieves like Dr. Emma Uduaghan can provide financial support to the organisation. What a rotten society!

For emphasis, aside Uduaghan thrusting Delta State into great financial debt of 637 billion naira that cannot be repaid in ten years, he is also alleged to have converted Delta State assets to private ownership as widely reported in the media. The time for ICPC and EFCC to act is now. Deltans are suffering as a result of Dr. Emma Uduaghan’s gross misdeeds on their common wealth. This organisation of editors should revisit their decision or stay in shame, otherwise, they may just end up being classified as the worst enemy to the Buhari’s corruption fight and Delta citizens.

Fred Ijeh

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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