Mr Henry Obukowho, who happens to be the Head of Personnel Management, (HPM), Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, and Fejiro Ogbogbo, the Treasurer to the Local Government, (TLG), are said to be currently enmeshed in N2,475,000 salary embezzlement scandal, according to SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters gathered that Obukowho, who is a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, allegedly connived with the council's treasurer to embezzle the money meant for the payment of salaries of staff members and political office holders for January.
Our correspondent learnt that the N2,475,000 was released by the state government alongside N1 million for the HPM's security vote but after collecting his N1 million, he refused to pay the affected staff members and political office holders several weeks after the money was released for the payment of salaries.
Speaking to our correspondent, an employee in the accounts department of the council, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the N2,475,000 was supposed to cover the payment of immediate past political office holders and the January salaries of the council security guards, clerical officers, and environment staff members.
"It's a big shame that the HPM who is a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God is involved in such a corrupt and unholy act. The HPM is only being selfish and greedy. Initially, he was mounting pressure on the TLG to withdraw the money for diversion but the TLG refused to be involved in such an act. But after strong pressure, the TLG gave in to the corrupt act of the HPM and the money was pocketed without paying the people the money was meant for.
"This is how the money should have been broken down for payment: N2,090,000 is for the payment of the immediate past political office holders in the council. 20 councillors, N70,000 each. Five supervisors, N70,000 each. Secretary to the Local Government (SLG) and Special Assistant (SA) to the council chairman, N70,000 each. The council chairman and the vice-chairmen are to get N100,000 each.
"For the N385,000, this is how it is broken down for payment of January salaries. Five security men are supposed to be paid N35,000 each. Two clerical officers N30,000 each, Fifteen casual environment staff N10,000 each. But as we talk, the HPM in connivance with the TLG has embezzled the money. Some of the affected persons approached the HPM to pay them their salaries but they were ignored. Other council staff members have since got their January salaries.
"The HPM, despite being a pastor, does not joke with money. He is one of the (most) corrupt civil servants. I have ever seen since I started working in the council. When he was to be transferred to the council, some of us who knew his antecedents advised the then council chairman to reject him because of his love for money and corrupt attitude, but the chairman ignored our advice. Now, everyone can see his nature and love for money," the source stated.
Some of the affected staff members and immediate past political office holders whose salaries were allegedly embezzled by the HPM and TLG, confirmed the development to our correspondent, lamenting that they had not received their January salaries even though the money had been released by the state government some weeks ago.
When contacted for his reaction to the allegations, Head of Personnel Management, (HPM), Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, Obukowho, simply said, "The story is not true."
SaharaReporters also called the Treasurer to the Local Government, (TLG), Fejiro Ogbogbo, several times and texted but he did not pick up nor reply to the message.