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2024 POLL: APC, Commissioner clash over alleged corruption in Edo govt



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Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, engaged in a heated dispute over allegations of corruption within the state government.

The APC had made allegations of widespread corruption against top officials in the government.

But the war of words escalated ahead of the 2024 polls, with the APC calling for a thorough investigation into the alleged corrupt practices and the commissioner dismissing the claims as baseless and politically motivated.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Benin, the acting State Chairman, Jarret Tenebe, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had already invited some top government officials and should ensure they bring the investigation to its conclusion.
According to Tenebe, the much-celebrated paperless operation in government was a ploy by Governor Godwin Obaseki to delete certain critical data from the server in case they lost the forthcoming election.

He said: “The latest plan by Obaseki to make the activities of his administration paperless is a criminal plan that has been designed by one ‘Ugo’ who is in charge of e-governance to destroy all documents relating to fraudulent contracts with the excuse that Edo government has gone paperless.

“Ugo has been allegedly instructed to delete the server containing sensitive documents when the PDP loses the election on September 21, 2024. We hereby warn the governor and the head of e-governance not to delete the approvals of contracts on e-gov.”

He also queried the N28 billion allegedly spent on a five-star hotel by the state government; the complex, he said, was already 85 per cent completed before the state government took it over from its original owner. Tenebe also queried the modular refinery in the state which he claimed that Obaseki said was owned by the state government but after its completion, new documents have emerged suggesting that the modular refinery is now owned by an individual.

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But Nehikhare dismissed the claims as baseless and politically motivated, noting that the APC and its leadership do not know how government works.

He said: “It is unfortunate that we still have people heading political parties without an idea of how the government is run and they believe in sensationalism. They cannot offer any policy statement or directions for a government they are trying to form instead they are chasing shadows, making allegations that are spurious and frivolous. “We are not going to dignify them with our response but to tell Edo people to ask this APC leadership for their plans for the state.

“That is all we asked. We need to hear their plans, and how they plan to offer a better state than we have done here in PDP

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