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Published On: Sat, Jan 19th, 2013

Crisis Looms Delta Transport Company over Alleged Excesses of Chief Account

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Delta State Governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan


Crisis has enveloped the Delta Transport Company over alleged incessant corrupt practices being perpetrated by the Chief Accountant, Mr. David Akpimegin.
A committee set up by the Commissioner of Transport, Mr. Ben Igbakpa, backs staff allegations against Mr. Akpimegin, lambasting his interference in administrative functions and saying he is unqualified for the position he occupies.

“An organization such as Delta line requires an experienced and qualified Chartered Accountant to hold the office of the Chief Accountant,” says the report of the committee, a copy of which was obtained by SaharaReporters.
As the crisis has developed, the embattled Mr. Akpimegin has allegedly commenced underground bribing of some top government officials, especially the Head of Service, Mr. Oke Ofili, in order to avoid implementation of any unfavorable circulars sent out concerning his redeployment. Calls and text messages by SaharaReporters to Mr. Akpimegin’s phone number were neither answered nor returned.
Members of the company staff allege that Mr. Akpimegin bought his way to the position, and has vowed to protect it with the last drop of his blood. Our reporter was told that he acquired his profile in the company through a boastful nature, closeness to persons in the corridors of power, and threats.
The crisis seems to have erupted when the Chief Accountant allegedly began to ask one Mrs. Kehinde Kehinde a member of the staff in Asaba by the fraudulent accountant to remit certain monies to him, with a promise to cover up the matter.
Sources said it was normal practice, with the Chief Accountant demanding monies from staff, mainly staff of outstations, without proper documentation. Those that refused to yield to the fraudulent demands were threatened with reprisals.
“The so-called Accountant, David is not qualified for that position which he bought his way through. He parades qualifications which he never possessed. His continuous stay in that position as the company’s Chief Accountant is nothing but fraudulent and counterproductive and unless something urgent is done about him, the finances of the company will continue to end up in private pockets. Out of fear so many staff have fallen victims of his illegal demand and in most cases, he, Akpimegin, never bothers to pay back therefore allowing the staff to carry his/her own cross.”
Mrs. Kehinde, refusing to follow the pattern, wrote a petition after she was purportedly suspended by the committee of Commissioner Igbakpa regarding “fraudulent practices” involving her and the Accountant arising from activities she had undertaken on the instructions of Mr. Akpimegin.
The probe panel, chaired by the acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Engr. Odiete, had the Director of Administration, Amos Okafor as Secretary. It queried Mrs. Kehinde and lambasted Mr. Akpimegin for fraudulent practicea and administrative interference before saying he was unqualified for his position.
“Government financial regulations are not being followed in the financial operations of Delta Transport Service Ltd,” the committee said. “From the investigation carried out, the committee is convinced that there was actually a transaction between Mrs. Kehinde Kehinde and Mr. David Akpemigin but people interviewed were not forthcoming in account of what really happened and were economical with the truth. Some of the positions in the company are held by non-qualified and incompetent personnel. Some officers claimed to have qualifications which they do not possess.”
It also dismissed Mr. Festus Preh, the Internal Auditor as “incompetent,” saying he lacked the requisite qualification and capacity to hold that office.
As an interim measure, the committee recommended that some qualified officers in the state civil service be seconded to Delta line Transport service to manage the departments of Administration, Accounts, Audit and Transport operation.
“Staff should be placed in the position of their qualification and competence,” the committee said.
The committee also discovered that there is no edict setting up Delta Transport Service Limited. Rather, the company owes its life to a Memorandum and Articles of Association of December 16, 1991 when the State was governed by a Military Administrator.
Contacted on the development, Mr. Igbakpa said the issue had been brought to his knowledge and that a committee was already looking into it.
The commissioner expressed regrets that the efforts by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to bring to life the transport company have continued to receive frustrations by some elements within the organization.
“We must commend Governor Uduaghan for his giant strides in the transport sector which remain unbeaten, and Deltans will forever remain grateful to the governor,” he said. “My dream for Delta Line company is to see it ranked among the first class transport companies in the country.”
A source within the Ministry, speaking confidentially, lamented what is going on in the Delta Transport Company, stressing the commissioner’s deep unhappiness about it.
“The place is so corrupt and I can tell you that it’s not only the Accountant, so many others are involved. Hon. Igbakpa is the best Commissioner the Ministry has had in recent times and he has been able to turn around the sector in the state which everybody can see.”
Despite the good intentions of the commissioner, our sources confided that efforts to implement his committee’s recommendations continue to be frustrated by some persons who may have been induced by the indicted Chief Accountant.
Meanwhile, in a related matter, SaharaReporters is in possession of a document, obtained by us from the Nigeria Police Force ‘B’ Division headquarters, Utako District, Abuja.
Entitled “Police Investigation Report, Re: Case of Theft,” dated 11th, May, 2006, and signed by a Divisional Police Officer, Mr. S. Zabairu, it was addressed to the General Manager of Delta Transport Services, Asaba, and the report indicted Mr. Akpimegin of financial theft amounting to N800, 000 belonging to the company.
Mr. Akpimegin debunked that 2006 report.
Source: saharareporters

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