Oshiomhole reinstates Victor Enobakhare despite being indicted by Commission of Enquiry
By Kingsley Imuwahen
It would be recalled that on Tuesday October 6, 2015, Governor Adams Oshiomhole suspended four local government chairmen over allegations of non-payment of staff salaries without satisfactory explanations, inability to account for internally generated revenue, diversion of funds, failure to follow due process in the award of contracts as well as illegal employment of senior officers without going through Local Government Service Commission.
The affected officials were, Hon. Emmanuel Momoh, Etsako Central LGA, Hon Victor Enobakhare, Egor LGA, Hon. Osaro Obazee, Oredo LGA, and Hon. Roland Ibierutomwen, Orhionmwon LGA.
Consequently, the governor set up a commission of enquiry to assess the level of complicity or otherwise of the affected LGA bosses and to make appropriate recommendations.
In the case of Egor LGA, the Commission of Enquiry was made up of Barr Tunji Aruya as Chairman, Barr. Osa Gaja, Secretary, Barr. Uyi Ediale, Mr. Lucky Aigbe, and Mr. Kenneth Aku as members. In the course of their assignment, the Commission indicted Hon Victor Enobakhare and was requested to make refunds for:
- Misappropriating the sum of N16, 294, 973.00 (Sixteen million, two hundred and ninety-four thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three naira) for an abandoned rehabilitation of 4 classroom, office and borehole at Urumwon primary school.
- In collaboration with the erstwhile Secretary, Mr. Joshua Uwagboe to return the Council’s tractor in good working condition and the sum of N3, 650,000.00 (Three million, six hundred and fifty thousand naira) being cost of hiring out the tractor for the period of 16th December 2013 to 16th December 2015.
- In collaboration with Mr. Kessington Osifo, treasurer and Mr. Sunny Ikhimwin, HOD Environment, the sum of N8, 460, 000.00 (Eight million, four hundred and sixty thousand naira) as monies paid for desilting/maintenance work at Aisosa Street, was never carried out.
- In collaboration with Mr Kessington Osifo and Mr. Sunny Ikhimwin the sum of N2, 805, 000.00 (Two million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) as monies paid for desilting/maintenance of Ogida and adjoining streets, which were not done.
- In collaboration with the treasurer, Mr. Kessington Osifo the sum of N3, 459, 000.00 (Three million, four hundred and fifty-nine thousand) as monies paid for printing of standardized record books for Health Centres within the LGA that was never carried out.
- In collaboration with one Mr. Victor Omokaro, the sum of N13, 520, 000.00 purportedly spent on the hiring of labourers by Environmental Health Department without the signing of the sub-receipts as expected of such transactions.
- In collaboration with Mr. Kessington Osifo, the sum of N2, 736,000.00 (Two million, seven hundred and thirty-six thousand naira) being revenue collected from Evbareke Market from 2014 to 2015 which was not paid into the Council’s treasury,
- The sum of N915, 668. 00 (Nine hundred and fifteen thousand naira) being salaries of 5 illegally employed persons.
- In collaboration with the treasurer, Mr. Kessington Osifo, to refund the sum of N3, 198, 000.00 being cost of procuring a 500 KVA Transformer for the council, which was never supplied.
- In collaboration with Mr. Osayanda Osagiator, cashier, Mr. Kessington Osifo, treasurer the sum of N9, 910, 350. 00 (Nine million, nine hundred and ten thousand, three hundred and fifty naira) being paid to one Enoma Emmanuel against the Council’s standard accounting procedure.
- In collaboration with Engr. U. D. Omorede, Head of Works’ Department, the sum of N200, 000.00 as gratification from Mr. William Okuonghae for purchasing two Transformers on behalf of the Council.
- In collaboration with Mrs M. Enobakhare (Wife of the Council Chairman) the sum of N9, 296, 500.00 collected on behalf of members of Women Advisory Committee without confirmation of receipt by the members.
- In collaboration with Kessington Osifo, treasurer and cashier, Mr. Osamwonyi Efosa the sum of N3, 144, 000.00 received from Evbareke Spare Parts Market which was not accounted for.
- Amongst the other matters in breach are:-
(a) The delay in supplying house number plaques and naming of streets for those who have long fulfilled the financial requirements.
(b) The failure of the Council to take necessary action against Prane Business Integrated Limited, the developers of the new Edaiken Modern Market who were in breach of the terms of agreement.
(c) The deliberate negation of due process in the accounting and administrative procedures of the Council.
In conclusion, the Commission of Enquiry stated ”In light of the findings of this Commission and in view of the fact that the very people he has led for the duration of his time as Chairman until his suspension from office no longer want him as their leader, this Commission is constrained to recommend that Hon. Victor Enobakhare should be relieved of his position as Chairman of Egor Local Government Area forthwith.
However in a debilitating twist and against the startling revelations and recommendation by the Commission of Enquiry, Governor Oshiomhole reinstated the embattled Chairman, Hon. Victor Enobakhare without any manner of sanctions. It is this attitude by the Governor, which has encouraged the high level of impunity and financial recklessness in the State.
While two of the four embattled Chairmen, Hon. Osaro Obazee of Oredo LGA and Hon. Emmanuel Momoh of Estako Central who were accused of similar offences have been asked to finally relinquish their offices, it is surprising that Hon. Victor Enobakhare and his Orhionmwon counterpart Hon. Ibierutomwen were asked to remain in office.
It has however been speculated that the Governor is currently using this method of divide and rule to muzzle or gratify those who are against or supporting him in the bid to have his preferred successor endorsed by the All Progressives Party faithful.