Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has again reappointed former Governor James Ibori’s two money laundering associates, Chiedu Ebie as Secretary to State Government (SSG) and David Edevbie as his Chief of Staff.
Governor Okowa was sworn in May, 29, 2019 for a second term in office at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta state.
Ebie was the immediate past commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education while David Edevbie was the immediate past Commissioner for Finance.
In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr. Edwin Ogidi-Gbegbaje, said Okowa also appointed former Works commissioner in Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration and Ifeanyi Okowa’s campaign Director General in the 2019 general elections, Funkekeme Solomon as Senior Political Adviser.
The statement said the appointments are with immediate effect.
It would be recalled that Ebie and Edevbie were identified as suspects in former Governor Ibori’s illicit financial schemes. Edevbie later served as a private principal secretary to deceased President Musa Yar’Adua, his appointment pushed by Ibori.
An investigation by HardReporters revealed that Ebie was implicated in a series of money-laundering investigations in the UK involving Ibori, besides, Ebie was also implicated in the 170-count charge of money laundering the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed against Ibori.
London Metropolitan police had charged some of Ibori’s accomplices, including former Governor Victor Attah of Akwa-Ibom State, and Edevbie, for money laundering involving the diversion of into private accounts of V-Mobile shares owned by their respective states.
In 2009, Crown prosecutors in the UK named Edevbie, a former Delta State Commissioner for Finance and representative of the state government on the board of Vee Networks Ltd from June 2001 to August 2004, along with five others as co-conspirators in Ibori’s money laundering activities.
The indictment came shortly after Edevbie’s appointment as private principal decretary to the late President Yar’Adua.
The charges in the UK accused Edevbie, Bhadresh Babulah Gohil, Lambertus de Boer and Daniel Benedict McCann, of conspiring at various times with Ibori, former Governor Attah, David Edevbie, Love Ojakovo, and others to defraud Delta State and Akwa Ibom State of sums representing part of the sale of shares owned by the said states in Vee Networks (Nigeria) Limited (trading as V-Mobile) to Celtel (Nigeria).
UK prosecutors accused Ibori, Edevbie and the other accused of stealing the proceeds of the stock sales through a series of illicit transactions. The misappropriated funds were stolen using several corporate bodies, including the African Development Finance Limited, and the Ascot Offshore (Nigeria) Limited.
It was reliably learned that following the V-Mobile deal, the anti-corruption agency was said to have questioned Edevbie on August 10, 2011 and March 2012 in its Lagos and Abuja offices respectively.
All efforts to reach David Edevbie and Chiedu Ebie proved abortive as calls put to them were not answered as at the time of filing in this story, but Ebie had before now denied knowledge of any allegations against him, however, he had admitted that there was a pending court case against him then.
Credible sources disclosed that Ebie and Edevbie can not step into the soil of the United Kingdom (UK) following their alleged indictment in money laundering involving Ibori.