Posted by News Express | 14 January 2015 | 3,521 times
Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN, has denied a news report by SaharaReporters news portal alleging that he was involved in corrupt practices in a state-sponsored Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) and that the whole programme was a scam. Utuama described the report as spurious, false and baseless.
Prof Utuama said in a statement issued this morning in Asaba that it is ridiculous to call the programme a scam. He stated that the state Ministry of Education runs the programme in conjunction with a consultant, asserting that the allegations against him are not only malicious and preposterous but also ungodly.
His words: “The allegations against me, as reported and published by SaharaReporters, are ridiculous; in fact malicious. They are ungodly. I reject the same and say they are false and unfounded. The Ministry of Education runs the programme in conjunction with a consultant. I have never been to Barbados and I don’t sign any cheque in respect of the programme. I also categorically deny the allegation that Ms Donna St. Hill is my mistress or that I am in an inappropriate relationship with her.
“These spurious allegations published by SaharaReporters, a medium that is notorious for sensationalism and the peddling of falsehood, are clearly aimed at tarnishing my hard earned name, reputation and character. Nobody rises by destroying others.
“The programme is being handled by a consultant. I think it is uncharitable to call the programme a scam and to also allege or insinuate that I have connived with the consultant or any other person, living or dead, to defraud or shortchange our children sent out to acquire specific skills for their personal development and self empowerment.
“My involvement in the programme was never at any time detrimental to the wellbeing of our children and our dear state. I therefore ask SaharaReporters to immediately retract the publication. If this advice is not heeded, I will explore to the fullest, all avenues available to me by the laws of the land to seek redress. It is common knowledge that the burden of proof is on he who alleges. It is not enough to allege, you have to provide the evidence.”
•Photo shows Prof. Utuama.
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