How Okowa, Oborevwori Neglected Former Aides….as Forum of Past Political Aides Set For Showdown Against DTHA, DTSG Over Unpaid Allowances

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Sheriff Oborevwori and Ifeanyi Okowa

Former aides to members of the Delta State House of Assembly, comprising politicians and professionals, have issued a stern warning to the Delta State House of Assembly and the Delta State Government.

PDP Chairman, Kingsley Esiso, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori and Ifeanyi Okowa

They threatened to pursue legal action if their furniture and severance allowances remain unpaid.

The Aides, under the banner of the Forum of Past Political Aides of the 5th, 6th, and 7th Assembly, made this known through their legal counsel D.O. Jarikre & Associates, who addressed a letter to Governor Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.

Sheriff Oborevwori and Emomotimi Guwor

The letter, dated June 6, 2024, highlighted the group’s frustration with the government’s failure to address their numerous requests for payment.

Emomotimi Guwor

The letter, signed by E. Atowo, ESQ, indicated that despite multiple correspondences, the allowances have not been disbursed. “Our clients have informed us and provided several documents which we believe to be true, showing that they are the current Executive of the Forum of Past Political Aides of the 5th, 6th, and 7th Assembly, Delta State House of Assembly,” the letter states.

The forum members claimed that those who served during the 5th Assembly were yet to receive their furniture allowances.

Sheriff Oborevwori and Ifeanyi Okowa

Additionally, aides from the 5th, 6th, and 7th Assemblies are still owed severance allowances. “During the period under reference, our clients functioned as political aides to members of the Delta State House of Assembly. Several benefits and/or allowances due to them were not paid,” the letter continues.

Emomotimi Guwor

D.O. Jarikre & Associates noted the efforts made by the Forum to resolve the issue, referencing various letters sent to the concerned offices since July 28, 2022.

These letters include a recent one addressed to Governor Oborevwori, who previously served as the Speaker of the State House of Assembly from the end of the second year of the 5th Assembly to the end of the 7th Assembly.

Ifeanyi Okowa

“Our clients have written several letters appealing to the various arms of the Delta State Government responsible for the payments. Despite these appeals, no payments have been received,” the legal team emphasized.

In one of the letters, the Governor’s Chief of Staff advised the Forum to direct their request to the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, who also served in the 6th Assembly. However, despite a reminder sent on April 23, 2024, there has been no response.

Ifeanyi Okowa and Sheriff Oborevwori

The legal team has now issued a final demand for the payment of all outstanding allowances within 30 days from June 6, 2024. “Your Excellency, having made several overtures to the Delta State Government and patiently explored all avenues to have this matter settled amicably to no avail, our clients are constrained to demand the payment of all their outstanding allowances without further delay,” the letter states.

The letter warned that if the allowances were not paid within the stipulated time, the Forum will initiate legal proceedings against the Delta State Government for breach of contract. “In the event of further default, neglect, or refusal to pay the said benefits within thirty days, our clients will be left with no option but to institute legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction.”

According to the aides’ appointment letters, they are entitled to 300 percent of their Annual Basic Salary as a furniture allowance and the same amount as severance gratuity, payable upon the successful completion of their tenure or on a pro-rata basis after two years of service.

It is noteworthy that Governor Oborevwori, recently praised by former Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for his prudent management of resources as Speaker, is now facing this controversy. Dr. Jonathan commended Oborevwori, saying, “It is not easy for a public officer or even a civil servant to refund money to the government; it is extremely difficult.”

“But as a Speaker, you were able to do that, which shows that you are a person of high integrity and can be trusted. Please continue to manage the state’s resources in that manner and use the money in a way that will positively affect the people.” Dr. Jonathan had highlighted Oborevwori’s ability to remit over N500,000,000.00 in unspent funds to the state treasury.”

Sheriff Oborevwori and Ifeanyi Okowa