Over 1,000 youths elders on Tuesday took to the streets in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, to support the recent arrest and prosecution of a former top official of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), George Turnah.
The protesters who were mostly youth were led by Perekeme Richard Kpodoh, an APC chieftain in the state. The youth who carried placards with various inscriptions commended EFCC for his Turnah’s arrest saying he deprived Niger Delta region of requisite developments.
The groups lamented that they were shocked to hear the revelation of how he shortchanged them during the period.
According to them, the painful part of Turnah’s callousness was the Niger Delta Volunteer Program which was designed to empower 2,000 youths of the region for four years with a monthly stipend of one hundred and fifty thousand naira but he choosed to pay them seventy thousand naira.
They accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of giving Turnah the audacity to operate in an agency as sensitive as the NDDC without being checkmated, leading to his involvement in the monumental fraud.
The APC leader had maintained that Jonathan failed to attract meaningful project to the region but watched with excitement as his aides, mainly from Bayelsa fretted the nation’s commonwealth through dubious and phantom projects.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Harold Zoukumor while addressing the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Amba Asuqo said as concerned indigenes of the region they are completely in solidarity with the EFCC for justice to prevail in the matter.
He said ” We have seen and read in the media, the recent arrest and detention of Mr. George Turnah. It is our desire that all said funds recovered from him be returned to the youths of the region for further development of their capacity as well as enhance the living standard of the people.
“His action was a clear case of fraud which has impoverished the ordinary people especially the youths more. So we insist that the loot must be returned to either the NDDC or any agency to be disbursed to the youths because it is our money and we appeal to you to use your good office to work in line with our request.”
In his response, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police thanked them for the peaceful way they conducted themselves and assured them that their letter will get to the right place.
Turnah is now standing trial before Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on a 12-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, money laundering and abuse of office.
George Turner’s woes with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, continued as some All Progressive Congress, APC, members yesterday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, declared their support for the anti corruption agency.
It would be recalled that the EFCC recently confiscation was done on Thursday sequel to an interim forfeiture order granted the Commission by a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. One of the properties covered by the forfeiture order and which had been attached by the EFCC is a massive complete building known as “KOLO VILLA” in Kolo Town, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Other properties will soon be attached.
It would be recalled that Justice Ibrahim Watilat recently granted an interim forfeiture order based on an application filed by the EFCC for the confiscation of several houses and bank accounts belonging to the Chief Turner.
The embattled legal practitioner was accused of fraudulently enriching himself while he served as Special Adviser to two Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the NDDC between 2012 and 2015.
Former aide to ex president Goodluck, George Turner, The embattled legal practitioner was accused of fraudulently enriching himself while he served as Special Adviser to two Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the NDDC between 2012 and 2015.