Ex governor Uduaghan to face financial crime charges.

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 Governor Uduaghan
Governor Uduaghan

Former governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan may face criminal charges over his handling of finamcial matters in the state following his removal as the state governor recently.

A senior official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told LEADERSHIP newspaper last night that he might be arrested for alleged financial impropriety and eventual criminal charges.

The EFCC move came as Chief E.K. Clark, an Ijaw leader called on the anti-graft agency to arrest Dr. Uduaghan and prosecute him for alleged money laundry act, alleging that Uduaghan was  linked to the former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori.

“Dr. Uduaghan might be invited for questioning on issues concerning financial crimes and money laundering,” the EFCC official stated.

Chief Clark said, “Uduaghan was involved in massive looting of Delta State treasury during the administration of Ibori. We are therefore calling for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of Uduaghan by the EFCC, ICPC and other anti-graft agencies.”

“There is a lot to be investigated by the EFCC, and like his cousine, Ibori, he cannot be governor of Delta again, he stated.”

Meanwhile, the PDP has expressed “great shock, total disbelief and consternation” at the voiding of the election of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan as the duly elected governor of Delta and the ordering of fresh election within 90 days.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Rufai Alkali said that the verdict would be a major setback for the forthcoming general elections.

He said that annulling an election and ordering for a fresh one a year to the end of the tenure of the incumbent would complicate the electoral process.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has received the judgment of the Appeal Court sitting in Benin which voided the election of Emmanuel Uduaghan with total disbelief and consternation.

“A decision to annul an election and order a fresh one three years into the tenure of an incumbent complicates the electoral process especially against the background of recent judicial interpretations on when the tenure of elected persons should begin,” Alkali said.

He, however, expressed optimism that the party would win Delta  again in 2011 and appealed to the PDP faithful in Delta to remain calm and work in unity.

A Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State, had on Nov. 9, annulled the election of Emmanuel Uduaghan as the duly elected governor of Delta State and ordered INEC to conduct fresh election within 90 days.

The nullification  followed an appeal by the Democratic Peoples Party’s(DPP) candidate, Great Ogboru against the ruling of the Election Tribunal on the 2007 governorship election.

The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly Hon. Sam Obi was yesteray sworn in as the acting governor of the state by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Roseline Bozimo.

The ceremony took place at the executive chambers of government house, Asaba, at about 5:15pm amidst tight security.

Only few Journalists and members of the Executive Council, legislators and some PDP chieftains were allowed in to witness the Ceremony.

Speaking shortly after taking the oath of Office, the acting governor gave assurance that machinery of Government would continue to run without any hindrance.

He appealed to Deltans and friends of the state to remain calm and go about their normal duties and endeavours, even  as he charged the law enforcement agencies not to allow the present development to be capitalised upon by nefarious persons.