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Published On: Wed, Jan 22nd, 2014

Olu of Warri Disowns Ayomike on Ugborodo Missing $6m…Money Intact, Says Uduaghan, Ecobank

Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II

LAGOS JANUARY 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)– The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II on Tuesday disowned Pa Johnson Ayomike over his controversial role in the Ugborodo crisis, describing him as an impostor that does not have claim to any leadership role in the community.
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan on his part described allegations of embezzlement of $6 million leveled against him by Ayomike at a press briefing in Warri, as baseless, insisting that the money was intact under the protection of Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The Warri Monarch leading a delegation of his chiefs to a meeting with the governor and other top government officials, including security personnel, dubbed Ayomike who has been parading himself as a leader of Ugborodo community as an impostor.
Ogiame Atuwatse II, explained that Ayomike was just one of the members of the community, who was only out to fuel confusion and crisis in the area.
“Pa Johnson Ayomike, he is not the leader of that community. He is an individual of that community. We do not want a situation were Ayomike wants to draw the community backward and I want to let you know that he does not have my blessings.”
The Olu commended and backed Uduaghan and the State Government for the measures that have been taken to restore normalcy to the area.
He noted that no single individual could be bigger than constituted authority and urged the State Government to take every necessary measure to deal with the situation and restore peace permanently to the area.
Uduaghan who commended the Olu for the role he has been playing in bringing the situation under control, described allegations leveled against him by Ayomike that he has caused a $6 million fund from Chevron to be embezzled as false.
The Governor insisted that the said fund was intact in the bank and has not been spent, explaining that the money could not have been embezzled by a third party without authorisation by Chevron.
“There is an issue that is in the papers today (Tuesday) about missing a $6 million. The money is intact in the bank. I just called the manger and the money is intact in the bank.
“I have told Chevron to come out with a statement today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday) or address the press. Without Chevron one kobo of that money cannot be spent.
“The way it is arranged Chevron has to approve the project. Chevron has to sign the cheque and Chevron has to supervise the project. The money is a fund that no single individual can withdraw,” the Governor added.
An official of Ecobank who also briefed the press in Warri, buttressed the position of Uduaghan that the money has not been expended, explaining that the money was not paid in dollars but that Chevron only paid the naira equivalent of N705 million on December 18, 2008 into the account of Itsekiri Regional Development Council account for the Ugborodo New Town Project.
The bank official added that the interest accruing thereof now put the balance at a little above N908 million.
According to the governor, Ayomike was out to blackmail him because he did not succeed in making his younger brother chairman of the joint committee to oversee the establishment of the Export Processing Zone in the area.
Uduaghan added that Ayomike’s failure to also install his son as secretary of the Ugborodo Community Trust were the reasons he was launching a personal attack on his person.
Also, the Governor approved the recommendation of the Warri monarch that Barrister Austin Oborogbeyi should chair the reconstituted joint committee to oversee the EPZ project at Ogidingben.
He explained that the earlier committee has to be dissolved to address some security issues.
Source: Thewill

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