Leo Ogor a lawmaker from Delta state representing Isoko Federal Constituency in the Nigerian House of Representatives has threatened to commit suicide. According to reliable reports from Sahara Reporters citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter reported that Leo Ogor, a former minority leader in the Green Chamber, cried and threatened suicide in a telephone conversation with the Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
The report said the lawmaker’s threat follows the alleged rejection of his chosen candidate for chairmanship position in a forthcoming local election in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State. The Peoples Democratic Party in the area has been thrown into a crisis over the party’s candidates for the local government elections after the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission announced that March 6, 2021, is the date for the local government elections.
A one-time executive member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and Leo Ogor political associate, who participated in the telephone conversation, told Sahara Reporters that Governor Okowa had earlier directed that the PDP primary for the chairmanship in the local government be thrown opened, but Leo Ogor pleaded with the governor that he should be allowed to singlehandedly select the chairmanship candidate.
According to reports from the reliable source and eye witness; “Leo Ogor put a call to his Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, that he should be allowed to produce the next chairman in Isoko North, that his first candidate, Joseph Otheremu, was rejected and why should his second candidate, Christian Iteire, be rejected again,” the source said.
“Leo Ogor, during the telephone phone call, lamented bitterly on why Governor Okowa was allowing people to humiliate him. At this point, he started shedding tears and threatened suicide if he is not allowed to produce the next chairman in Isoko North comes March 6, 2021. Honourable Leo Ogor only succeeded in getting the governor with his emotional blackmail.
“Just on Monday, the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kingsley Esiso, called for a meeting of leaders of the party in Isoko North at his VIP lodge, government house in Asaba and was attended by Leo Ogor, Emmanuel Ogidi, and few others. As the meeting was going on, all of a sudden, we saw that Leo Ogor was shivering seriously and based on his fragile health, it was then resolved that he should be allowed to have his way by producing the next chairman.”
Last week, some top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area had walked out on the former minority leader and others during the party’s caucus meeting at the country home of the federal lawmaker at Ozoro in Delta State.
Sahara Reporters further noted that an official of the party in the locality said the choice of Iteire as chairman of the local government was not good.
According to their statements; “This is another case of former late President Yar’dua who died in office. Leo Ogor camp has been jittery seriously ever since the governor mandated Isoko North to go for primaries because they know they are not on the ground. They are very much aware that the Isoko North people have rejected them. Leo Ogor candidate is facing some serious health challenges, and if care is not taken, he might die in office, and we don’t want such.”
Sahara Reporter further reported that Leo Ogor did not answer calls for comment on the suicide threat report. One of his aides, who pleaded anonymity reportedly said; “The story is false and from the pit of hell without any form of truth in it. So you believe that too, that Leo Ogor can cry and threatened suicide because of mere council chairman slot.? I am aware he only told the governor that it is because of his fragile health; hence he is been treated this manner.”
Meanwhile, members of the Senate Public Account Committee have expressed their dissatisfaction towards some officials of the Ministry of Defense who paid N968.8 million to contractors without approval. The report of the Auditor-General for the Federation specifically indicted the ministry officials of paying the huge sums to the contractors.
It was meant for the production and supply of medals and ribbons for the Armed Forces Independence Anniversary but allegedly without approval from Federal Executive Council and the Ministerial Tender Board. The Auditor-General for the Federation report indicted defense ministry officials of facilitating the payment for the contracts despite the objection raised by the Deputy Director (Budget) in a memo dated April 24, 2013.
The SPAC Chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, sustained the auditor-general’s query because the defense ministry officials failed to honor the panel’s invitation to explain their own side of the allegation. Urhoghide noted with dismay that series of invitations were extended to the ministry over the matter without any response.
He further stated that the committee had no other option than to sustain the query. The Auditor-General for the Federation further stated that the contract was awarded in 2010 and that 50 per cent of the contract sum was paid to the contractors while the balance of the sum was paid on January 26, 2015 to the contractor.
The query read in part; “The permanent secretary of the ministry is expected to recover N968 million from the contractors’ and forward the payment for audit verification.
“A memo, dated 24th April, 2013, raised by DD (Budget), had expressed misgivings about the way and manner the contract was awarded, further raising the doubt on the lack of transparency. A contract for the production and supply of medals and ribbons for Independence Anniversary for the Armed Forces of Nigeria was awarded at a total contract sum of N968,830,000.00.”
“The entire contract sum had been paid in January. The sum of N484,415,000.00 was paid in 2010 representing 50 per cent of the contract sum and the balance of N484,415,000.00 was paid on 26/01/2015 via payment voucher No. 4001.”
“Further examination of the payment voucher attachments revealed the following irregularities:
“There was no evidence of any Ministerial Tenders Board Meeting that considered this award, contrary to Financial Regulation 2921(i).
“The approval of the permanent secretary for the payment of the balance of N484,415,000.00 is above his approval threshold.
“There was no evidence of Federal Executive Council approval, together with the Bureau of Public Procurement ‘No Objection Certificate’.
“A memo, dated 24th April, 2013, raised by DD (Budget), had expressed misgivings about the way and manner the contract was awarded, further raising the doubt on the lack of transparency.
“The items (ribbons and medals) were not taken on store charge because there was no Store Receipt Voucher produced, in violation of Financial Regulations 2401(i).
“The total sum of N968,830,000 paid in respect of this contract could not be admitted as a legitimate charge against public funds.”
It added that the permanent secretary had been requested to recover the sum of N968,830,000.00 and forward evidence of the recovery for audit verification.