Delta Govt. Uncovers Plot To Steal N7 Bn From State Treasury Account  *As Police Arrest 5

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) By Albert OGRAKA– 

Delta Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah addressing the press on the development
Delta Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah addressing the press on the development

The Delta state government has adduced reasons for the delay in payment of January 2016 workers salaries in the state to an alleged attempt to defraud the state government of about N7billion.

The disclosure was made at a Press Briefing by the state Commissioner of Finance, Olorogun David Edevbie on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 at Government House, Asaba.

According to a press statement read by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah and made available to Blank NEWS Online, some persons involved in the alleged fraud have been arrested and quzzed by security agents.

“The State policy with regards to the payment of worker’s salaries is to ensure that its general workforce are paid on or before the end of the month.

“However, in the case of January 2016, where salaries were paid between 8th and 9th of February 2016, it has become necessary to brief the press and the general public on the reason for this delay.

“First, it is important to mention that the payment of salaries monthly is based on the receipt of funds from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting which hold monthly . For the month of January FAAC was held from 25th to 26th January 2016.

“After FAAC meeting, the funds are released to the States based on the distribution approved at the FAAC meeting. FAAC funds were received in the State Account on Monday 1st February 2016.

“Transfers were immediately carried out on the same day to the State Account for payment of salaries to workers in the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Delta State University, Polytechnics as well as pensions.

“While the payment of pension and Salaries of staff of DELSU was paid as scheduled, that of the MDA(s) as well as the Polytechnic staff was delayed due to an alert received on Wednesday evening 3rd February 2016 of attempts to defraud the State through the payment of salaries.

“The Permanent Secretary / Accountant –General on receiving the threat immediately informed His Excellency , the Governor who directed that the Security Agencies in the state as well as the bank should be informed immediately . He also directed the Permanent Secretary / Accountant – General to put in place additional control measures to forestall future attempts on the Account.

“It is very important here to mention that the Security Agencies have made arrests and measures have been put in place to strengthen the controls in the payment of salaries.
While it is necessary to sympathize with workers in the state for the delay, it is also important to commend your co-operation.

“I would like here to emphasize that this administration has a zero tolerance for fraud and assure all who have such intent to desist from such.

Meanwhile, five persons are currently cooling their heels at the detention cells of the Delta State Police Command headquarters, Asaba, the state capital, following attempt to defraud the state government of about N7billion.

It was learnt that the suspects, a syndicate group, were at the verge of withdrawing about N7billion from the state treasury when they met their waterloo.

The suspects are currently telling the police detectives all they know about the plot to fleece the Delta State government of such large sums of money , their various role , and those who are involved in the crime.

Confirming the development, the state police commissioner, Usman Baba Alkhali said, “I may not be able to disclosed to you the number of arrest we have made , or our level of investigation on the matter as revealing such information might jeopardize our efforts, but all I can tell you is that we have made some arrest and we are getting to the root of the matter”.

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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