The Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, yesterday stormed the state’s Police Command with a large number of supporters after he accused the state government of diverting over 4000 bags of rice meant for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and the state government wrote a petition against him to the state police.
For more than four hours yesterday, the Edo state PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih was quizzed at the state Police Command over comments credited to him that the state government allegedly diverted some bags of rice meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Uhogua in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state.
This was as Governor Godwin Obaseki petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, demanding that Chief Orbih should present facts of his allegations.
But Orbih was said to have stormed the Police Command Headquarters in Benin, the state capital about 10:17am in company of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and a large crowd of PDP supporters.
The police personnel at the Command were said to have a hectic time controlling the PDP supporters who thronged the command in solidarity with their leader, as they were prevented from entering the command premises.
On his arrival at the command headquarters, Orbih and few party leaders walked straight to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police. See photos below:
It would be recalled that Chief Orbih alleged that 4,721 bags of rice out of the 6,822 bags were diverted by the state government.
The bags of rice were donated to IDPs camp at Ohogua in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state by the Nigeria Customs Service.
Other items donated by the NCS to the IDPs included 76 cartons of vegetable oil, 100 sacks of used shoes.
The governor in his petition said Chief Orbih had in a radio interview “falsely and maliciously said that the Edo State Government was involved in a criminal conspiracy to divert 4,721 bags of rice released by the Federal Government for distribution to IDPs in the state.”
According to the petition signed by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, the Edo State Government stated that Chief Orbih further claimed that 300 bags of rice were diverted to a certain Senator in Ondo State.
The petition reads in part:
“It is instructive to note that in making these allegations to the general public, Chief Orbih claimed that he had facts and records to back up these criminal allegations.”
“The purpose of this complaints is to formally bring these weighty and unsubstantiated allegations to your attention and to request a thorough investigation with a view to establishing the veracity or otherwise of claim.
“It is the contention of the Edo State Government that Chief Dan Orbih should be called upon to provide evidence of the serious crimes he alleged to have been committed by the Edo State Government and to furnish your Command with facts, details and proof of the allegations he has made in the public domain.”
Speaking to newsmen shortly after he was allowed to go home on personal ground, Chief Orbih insisted that,
“from the state government statement and from my statement, it has been established that the government of Edo State misappropriated the rice that was meant for IDP.”
Orbih said available records showed that the state government has not been able to account for the remaining bags of rice.
He said the state government’s petition was to silence the voice of opposition in the state, but vowed to raise more issues for investigation.
As at the time of this report, there were strong indications that Chief Orbih might be charged to court, even as source close to the command headquarters said Chief Orbih would be arraigned if the statement credited to him did not show whether the IDPs rice was diverted.