The Delta State Government on Sunday distanced the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, from an online report linking him with a report that a serving governor from the South-South geopolitical zone was defrauded of $10m by a girlfriend.
The money, it was reported, was part of the bailout given to the state by the Federal Government to offset workers’ salaries.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, in a statement on behalf of the government, stressed that there was no iota of truth in the story that it was Okowa who lost the money to a girlfriend.
A report in one of the national dailies on Saturday quoted sources in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that a serving governor in the South-South geopolitical zone allegedly diverted $10m from the bailout for his state.
The report, which did not actually specify the name of the governor, stated that the governor was already under probe by the EFCC after $10m was allegedly hijacked by his America-based mistress.
However, a follow-up report by an online medium accused Okowa as the one defrauded of the sum.
Ukah stated, “We are appalled by the attempt to link Governor Okowa with the story by online media. We find it ridiculously tasteless and mischievous. This can only be part of the unrelenting campaign of calumny and the ceaseless peddling of pernicious propaganda against the person and the office of the Delta State Governor.
“For the record, the state government has several times in the past given account of how the bailout the state got from the Federal Government was used. We will not repeat ourselves here.
“Governor Okowa is a responsible family man and a well respected public figure.
“His preoccupation has been and continues to be how to deliver on his promised S.M.A.R.T agenda to the good people of Delta State since he came to office. And he has received applause and commendations from far and near for being so focused and unrelenting in the pursuit of his vision for the state.”
The statement warned that if “those who are bent on carrying out their devious and dubious campaign of calumny against the governor refuse to stop this infamous trade of theirs, we reserve the right to take any action deemed appropriate to seek redress.”