From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, yesterday, dragged the leader of the Edo State Market Women Association, Madam Blacky Omoregie Ogiamie before the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over N100,000, 000:00 largesse allegedly received from Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of the state on behalf of the market women in the state.
President of the association, Comrade Lucky Orukpe, in a petition titled “Call to investigate the one hundred million naira (N100,000,000.00) grant received by Madam Blacky Omoregie Ogiamie on behalf of Edo Market Women donated by Edo State government under Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole in 2013. Embezzlement of same grant suspected hence this petition”, presented to newsmen in Benin City, said he was part of those who was asked to mobilize the women to the venue where the said money was announced.
According to him”I comrade Lucky Orukpe was aware of the said above mentioned grant for Edo Market Women.
“I also mobilised over one hundred Edo Market Women across the state with the knowledge and consent Madam Blacky Omoregie Ogiamie to the venue of the reception of comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole organized by Edo Market Women across the state in 2013.
“The Edo State government gave one hundred million revolving, interest-free and non refundable grant to market women in Edo State to boost their trade”, he said.
Orukpe alleged that the purported grant for Edo Market Women was released to Madam Blacky on behalf of the market women in the state.
He alleged that he has made series of investigations in the past eight years to know the beneficiaries of the grant in the 18 local government areas of the state and has not been able to pinpoint anyone who has benefitted from the said grant.
The Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria president, said, flowing from his inability to have seen any beneficiaries, himself and his members are of the strong believe that the said grant was mismanaged and embezzled by Madam Blacky who collected the money on behalf of the market women in the state.
He however asked the commission and other relevant agencies to compel Madam Blacky to produce the full statement of account of those who benefitted from the grant.
Other things he asked the commission to asked for are verifiable names of the grant, verifiable account numbers of the beneficiaries of the grant, valid phone numbers of the beneficiaries of the grant, number of market women from each senatorial district of Edo State that benefitted from the grant and falling for her to provide such information, means that she eventually embezzled and mismanaged the said money.
In a swift reaction, the Edo State Market Women Association leader, Madam Blacky Omoregie Ogiamie denied mismanaging and embezzling the said grant noting that the money was equitably shared to the market women across the state.
She said the said president of the Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria should go and wake up the dead traders to also find out if they were given their own share of the grant.