Anti-Graft War: EFCC Recovers N794bn In 3 Years, Says Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that it has recovered N794 billion from looters of the nation’s treasury.

Also, the anti-graft agency said over $261 million,  8.1 millions euros and 1.1 million Pound Sterling had been  recovered from corrupt Nigerians.

Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu,  disclosed this, on Wednesday,  when he spoke  at a corruption symposium organised by the Rivers Unity House, in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State.

Magu, who was represented by the  Commission’s Head of Operations, Usman Muktar,  informed that the anti-graft czar had secured 703 conviction.

According to him, the feat was recorded between 2015 till date  when the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government came on board.

Magu said, “It is on record that about 90 percent of all the recovery in Nigeria is through the EFCC.

“Between November 2015 till date, we have recovered over N794 billion; we have recovered over 261 million dollars.

“The pounds sterling recovered stand 1,115, 930 million. Euros recovered within the period under review is 8,168,871.13?.

He added that hundreds of property such as filing stations, petroleum products, landed property, jewelries,  automobiles, and  many others,  have been recovered from corrupt Nigerians.

Speaking further, he said, “The EFCC added that 407 mansions were also seized by the Commission and 126 were forfeited finally to the Federal Government, while 281 are under forfeiture.

“We have been able to secure conviction between 2015 and 2018. We have been able to secure 703 convictions.

“The breakdown is as follows: in 2015, we have 103 convictions; in 2016, we have 194 convictions; in 2017, 189 convictions.”

SUN

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APC’s Victory In Katsina, Kwara And Bauchi By-elections, A Divine Instruction To PDP – Eze

Last Saturday’s Federal House of Representatives by-elections held in Katsina, Kwara and Bauchi States have been described as an indicator to the popular acceptance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the rejection of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by Nigerians.

Making the analogy in a statement issued and circulated in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on Thursday, a chieftain of the APC in the State, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, also pointed out that the outcome of the by-elections was a parable to the duo of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, that their political reign had come to an end.

Eze, who is also a former ally of the duo National Assembly leaders, noted that the by-elections, held on the eve of the upcoming general elections, was a divine instruction, intended to emphasize that the APC had come to change Nigeria for good, also to stamp the fact that those who used to determine the destinies of millions of Nigerians negatively will no longer have access to public offices as the people are now free to reject them without consequences.

It would be recalled that the by-elections were held on Saturday, November 17, 2018, in Katsina, Kwara and Bauchi; the home states of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon Yakubu Dogara respectively and the polls were all cleared by the APC. It would also be recalled that Senator Saraki and Hon Dogara had defected from the APC to the PDP earlier in the year.

“Most importantly the APC success in these states signifies the general acceptance of President Muhammadu Buhari as the true leader of our present generation and eclipse of the political careers of some political heavyweights like the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Barr Yakubu Dogara who recently decamped from the ruling APC to PDP whose notoriety and looting of our common patrimony with impunity led to most of the economic challenges currently facing Nigeria.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) convincingly won the by-election into the Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency seat of Katsina State; Toro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State and that of /lrepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency of Kwara State while in Katsina, the APC candidate Abubakar Kusada polled  48,518 votes beating his closest rival, the PDP candidate, Abdussamad Abdullah, who polled 20, 193 votes. APC also through Alhaji Yusuf Nuhu, won the by-election in Toro Federal Constituency of Bauchi having scored a total vote of 22,317 to lead his close rival of the PDP candidate, Alhaji Shehu Buba who polled 18,235 votes to come second. In  Kwara the APC’s candidate Olawuyi scored 21,236 votes to beat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Saheed Alatise who polled 18,095 votes.

“This demonstrates, not minding all the PDP propaganda, that the electorate was still enthusiastic about APC and the President Buhar’s administration. What the people of Bauchi and Kwara have done to both Barr Dogara and Dr Saraki respectively is that they are going to be politically buried come February 2019 and I am sure that both Saraki and Dogara would be politically retired by the good people of Kwara and Bauchi for having poorly represented their people and frustrated most of the good programs of the APC administration”, he said.

He, however, congratulated the people of Katsina, Bauchi and Kwara states for once again demonstrating that there are truly patriotic Nigerians, saying “kudos to the Minster of Information and the current political leader of Kwara State, Lai Mohammed and the entire Kwara people for freeing themselves from Saraki who have enslaved them all these years, mis-mismanaged their economic and political rights over the years.

“I urge Nigerians to continue to support and keep faith with the administration of President Buhari as he is on a divine mission to make Nigeria the great nation that God has destined her to be”.

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APC To Conduct Fresh Congresses In Rivers

National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the party has accepted the decision of the Supreme Court that voided the congresses in Rivers State.

Oshiomole, at a news conference in Abuja noted that though the congresses were conducted by the previous administration of John Odigie-Oyegun, the party has no choice but to organize a fresh exercise in compliance with the court order

According to Adams Oshiomhole, democracy is the celebration of the rule of law. This is the underlying factor for the party to begin to make amends in rivers state and conduct fresh ward, local government and state congresses.

The controversy surrounding the emergence of candidates for the 2019 elections in Ogun, Imo and Zamfara states also came up at the news conference. For the APC chairman, Governor Okorocha is driven by the urge to create a dynasty in Imo state.

Oshiomhole accused Gov. Amosun of illegally turning up consensus candidates that could create bad blood in the party in Ogun state.

He said the party has confidence in its presidential candidate.

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Prove Your Faith By Supporting Buhari, Cole for 2019, Eze Charges Wike

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has been charged to back his praises for President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the Niger Delta by supporting his 2019 ambition.

Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who charged the Governor in a statement made available to the media in Port Harcourt on Friday, also described President Buhari’s completion and commissioning of the International Wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, as monumental, historical, an example of the President’s faith-keeping and love for the people of the State and the entire Niger Delta region.

Eze, who commended Governor Wike for being truthful about President Buhari’s positive intents for both Rivers state and the entire region, noted that the Governor’s positive comments on the President is an acknowledgement of the fact that the people of the state and Niger Delta have grown to trust their President and will always prefer him to lead them into a more developed and morally upright Nigeria.

While speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the ultramodern international wing of the Airport on Thursday, an elated Governor Wike had said “the people of Rivers State and the South South region are happy with you for what you are doing in the region. I would have made a demand but my friend, the Honourable Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika has told me that the Local Wing will be commissioned by December.”

Commenting on Wike’s ‘vote of confidence’ on the President, Eze said “this is the first time Gov. Wike is commending the developmental efforts of President Buhari in Rivers State and the entire South South region”, urging the Governor to validate his good faith towards President Buhari by supporting his 2019 presidential bid as well as that of the President’s preferred candidate for Rivers state Governorship, Pastor Tonye Cole, for the state to breath a new life.

Eze, while describing President Buhari as the best option for Nigeria’s economic and social growth, highlighted some of the steps the administration had taken to make life easier for Rivers people, saying “if we are to consider the following feats and projects so far executed by the present administration at the centre in Rivers State and South-South zone as a whole then he will win massively in the region come 2019. Some of these projects are listed as follows:

“Not minding that Wike denied the Federal Government land to enable her construct an Industrial Park, which benefits from start to completion and inauguration, would be enormous to Rivers State and her people,  the Federal Government still went ahead to buy 10,000 acres of land on which the complex, an envisaged city on its own, would stand.

“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) just few months ago approved contracts of N47 billion for road projects in the country, including redesigning and reconstruction of the Aba/Port-Harcourt section of the Enugu/Port-Harcourt Expressway.

“Apart from this intervention, the Federal Executive Council on the same date also approved dredging of Port Harcourt Seaport and provision of navigational aids for Escravos, at the sum of N13 billion.

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration released a whopping sum of N900 billion owed the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) by previous Federal Administrations, including the Administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to assist the body complete most of its projects in Rivers state and other States in the Niger Delta region.

“Rivers State will benefit from the unprecedented allocation of over one hundred and twenty five billion Naira (N125 billion), out of the N8.612 trillion appropriation bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 to the National Assembly to fund capital projects in 2018 in the Niger Delta region.

“Rivers State will surely benefit from the N53.89 billion earmarked for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and N71.2 billion for Niger Delta Development Commission for capital projects, also to benefit from the budgetary allocation for the Niger Delta amnesty programme retained at N65 billion, with the budgetary allocation of N17.32 billion earmarked for the completion of the East-West Road.

“Rivers State will benefit from the Maritime University located at Okerenkoko in Delta State, with N5 billion budgeted in the 2018 budget for its formal take off. This is a University aimed to assist in the development and emancipation of the Niger Delta region.

“To demonstrate the seriousness over the full implementation of the Ogoni clean-up exercise and the execution of the multi-billion naira Bodo/Ogoni-Bonny road project, budgetary provisions were all made in the 2018 budget, which when completed, would open up the economic potential of the Niger Delta region beyond the shores of Nigeria, all in Rivers state.

“The APC-led Federal Government, apart from the above-named projects, embarked upon the following projects: the Calabar-Lagos Rail Line that cuts across Rivers state, the renovation/reconstruction of both Enugu-Port Harcourt Road and the West-East Road, the renovation of the Afam Power plant in Rivers state, resumption and reconstruction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Rail Line, among other projects. All these projects were abandoned by the PDP governments. Appointment of sons and daughters of the region into key and crucial ministries and agencies”, he said.

Eze recalled that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a son of the Niger Delta region, in his six years as the President of Nigeria, acknowledged that he failed Rivers State and the Niger Delta region by not embarking on any meaningful project in the region, apart from imposing Chief Nyesom Wike as the Governor of Rivers state, to promote insecurity in the state and the Niger Delta region.

Eze concluded by stating that now Buhari has proved that he is a patriotic son of the Niger Delta region, urged people of the Niger Delta to reciprocate by voting massively the APC candidates during the 2019 general elections.

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Vice President Osinbajo Visits Areas Affected By Floods In Rivers, Bayelsa

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has visited some of the communities affected by floods in Rivers and Bayelsa states.

Professor Osinbajo, who made the visit on Friday, also condoled with the victims of the floods in both states in Nigeria’s southern region.

Addressing those displaced by the floods in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers where over 71 communities have been submerged, he promised to resettle the residents back to their various homes.

He said, “The Federal Government will give all the support and all the succour that is necessary to ensure not only that you are as comfortable as possible in the circumstances here, but more importantly that you are resettled properly when in the next few weeks, by the grace of God, you are able to go back home.”

The Vice President added that the Federal Government would work with the state government to restore their livelihoods in a few weeks.

He equally assured the flood victims of immediate intervention and long-term strategies to forestall any reoccurrence of the incident.

Professor Osinbajo also visited the camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Igbogene area of Bayelsa State.

He said the Muhammadu Buhari administration would not leave the displaced persons to their plights, stressing that the government has a responsibility to take care of the people’s welfare.

The Vice President said, “On behalf of President Muhammdu Buhari, we will stand by you and whatever you need we will provide.”

“It is our duty as government to ensure that we take care of the people,” he added.

“That’s why I am here to see first-hand what is going on so that we will understand the type and quality of response to take further.”

Professor Osinbajo also met with a woman who put to bed recently at the camp.

Vice President Osinbajo was received in Yenagoa, the state capital by Governor Seriake Dickson and top government officials in Bayelsa.

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APC’s Poor Performance Leading Nigeria To Destruction – Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said the poor governance style of the All Progressives Congress-led federal government has led to the destruction of the nation’s economy and impoverishment of Nigerians.

Wike said this while addressing Rivers people during the 58th Independence Day anniversary, at the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt.

His words: “After over three years in power, the federal government has done nothing to advance the promise of independence, except failures, excuses, intimidation, insecurity, stealing of elections and weakening of democratic institutions, including the National Assembly, the judiciary, and the security agencies.

“These are difficult times and our nation is on the edge. Democracy is at the crossroads and good governance in abeyance.”

“The economy has remained comatose, and is reportedly receding again with associated economic consequences and hardship on ordinary Nigerians.

“Never in our history have Nigerians been subjected to untold sufferings as a result of the direct, erratic and ill-conceived economic policies and decisions of the Federal Government.

“Under their watch, our beloved country is now certified as the world’s headquarters of abject poverty, with over 87 million people living below two dollars per day,” he said.

 

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Wike Threatens PDP, Presidential Aspirants, Insists Party Convention Must Hold In Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that there will be consequences if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) succumbs to pressures from planted PDP presidential aspirants to move the party’s National Convention away from Port Harcourt.

He further declared that the state will not support any desperate PDP presidential aspirant who is sabotaging the economy of the state by fighting the hosting of the party’s presidential primary in Port Harcourt.

Mr Wike warned that Rivers People will teach the party a bitter lesson if it allows planted desperate presidential aspirants to scuttle the hosting of the presidential primary in Port Harcourt as agreed by all leaders of the party.

Speaking during a consultative visit by the Gombe State Governor and PDP presidential aspirant, Ibrahim Dankwambo, at the Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Mr Wike said at the PDP’s national meeting, no presidential aspirant opposed Port Harcourt as a venue.

He said any presidential aspirant fighting Rivers State should forget about the support of the state, during and after the National Convention.

He said: “Let me warn the party, if you dare, Rivers State will teach the party a lesson. Those days have passed when they took Rivers State for granted. Nobody can use and dump Rivers State.

“No presidential aspirant can use and dump Rivers State. We never lobbied for it, we never asked for it, but it will boost the economy of the state. People will make money.

“Those who are against Rivers people from making money to improve their businesses, will not get our support.”

The governor said that whether the National Convention holds in Jigawa or Adamawa, the winner preferred by the delegates will emerge.

“I don’t know why anyone who wants to be president, will be afraid of a venue. Then you are not prepared for the election.

“Nobody should dare Rivers State any longer. Enough is enough. PDP should know that we are not a punching bag. We are not a people you can use and push. We are not harlots. Whenever you want, you come. When you finish, you push us aside.

“We will retaliate at the appropriate time. When you go, tell your colleagues, the presidential aspirants. We were not interested, but having given it to us, you cannot insult us,” Governor Wike said.

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Rivers Tops Foreign Investment Destination – Report

A report by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), has named Rivers State as the number one foreign investment destination in Nigeria in the first half of 2018.

This is a position formerly occupied by Lagos State.

According to the report, Rivers received 35% of the $45.74 billion invested in 42 projects in nine states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during the period. It was followed by Bayelsa and Lagos states with 26% each.

The sectoral analysis of the investment profile shows that mining and quarrying accounted for 61% of the total investment and manufacturing 28%. Other sectors are transportation and storage, five per cent; real estate, three per cent; and the remaining sectors accounting for three per cent.

The report also showed that the investments were from investors in 11 countries, with French companies accounting for 35% of the value, closely followed by Nigerian companies at 31%. The report said the UK’s investment stood at 20%; Luxembourg seven percent and the remaining eight percent were from the other countries. “The top 10 announcements accounted for 43.1 billion dollars, representing 94 per cent of the value of the announcements,” the report read.

The NIPC however said the report was based only on investment announcements cited in NIPC’s newsletters from January to June 2018 and might not contain exhaustive information on all investment announcements in Nigeria during the period. “Nevertheless, the report gives a sense of investors’ interest in the Nigerian economy in the first half of 2018,” it said. “NIPC did not independently verify the authenticity of the investment announcements but is working on tracking the announcements as they progress to actual investments.”

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As We Move Towards the Rivers State Government House, By Soalabo West, Esq.

My public declaration to vie for the high office of Governor of Rivers State on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has elicited diverse reactions from indigenes and residents of the State. Many Nigerians from different parts of the country have also expressed their views on my aspiration.

No matter the leanings of the opinions that were expressed, my willingness to offer my name for nomination for the position of Governor of Rivers State, has, nonetheless, broadened the ambits of the political discourse within and outside the State. This I believe is good for the PDP and our polity, in general.

For the records, I have been a loyal member of the PDP for over 10 years and even when the party was afflicted by a gale of defections, I remained in the PDP, hoping that the principle of rotational zoning entrenched in the constitution of the party by the elders and founders of the party will continue to guide the leadership of the party in matters relating to elective positions. Alas, this is not the case and I am now hard put to say that, due to the whirlpool of existing political exigencies, I will no longer be aspiring to actualise my governorship ambition under the aegis of the PDP.

In announcing my interest for the governorship position under the aegis of the PDP, I emphasised that my candidature was inspired by the crying need to allow the riverine communities of Rivers State to produce the Governor of the State in 2019. I don’t think that I was asking for too much from the State and National leadership of the PDP as the upland area of the State has produced all the Governors elected on the platform of the PDP since the advent of civilian elective participatory democracy in 1999.

My argument remains that by 2019 the upland communities would have controlled the governorship of Rivers State for 20 years. I am convinced that my request that an indigene of the riverine part of the State, should of necessity be availed the opportunity to govern the State is in tune with the democratic ideals of equity, justice and fairness.

Sadly, I have come to realise that the leadership of the party in the State and at the National level of the PDP may never be prepared for an indigene of the State from the riverine area to govern Rivers State in 2019.

The reason that is being bandied around is that the incumbent Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, an Ikwerre man who also took over from former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, also from the Ikwerre ethnic stock, is doing well and as such should be allowed to continue for a second term of four years, up to 2023 does not trump the existential imperatives of the riverine people of the State.

I have written to the leadership of the party at the State and National, asking for a commitment that the party will, in pursuance of the provisions of the PDP constitution, zone the Governorship position of the party, in 2023, to the riverine communities. But that commitment has not been made.

Let me say this: Rivers State has all that is required to bring growth and development to any modern state. We have excellent human resources, very fertile land, two seaports, huge hydrocarbon deposits, an international airport, miles of beaches caressing the Atlantic and so much more.

We’ve got great plans for Rivers State and believe that she can be better. We will break her away from the shackles of underachievement and usher in a new era of peace and progress where everyone can fulfill their potentials with the government providing the enabling environment.

What if we could plan most future developments in our State and pass laws to ensure that we operate substantially within the ambits of those plans? Be they educational, infrastructural, entrepreneurial, cities development, waste management or even multiyear budget plans.

What if we could employ 300-500 new professionals incrementally- lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, administrators, engineers, surveyors, agricultural extension services providers, etc- to work and reside in each local government area of Rivers State? Providing them staff quarters and other incentives to ensure they stay and pursue their lives there?

What if we could get manufacturers and service providers back to Trans Amadi Industrial Estate and build new industrial parks in Abonnema, Ahoada, Bori, Degema, Omoku, Oyigbo, Etche or Omuma and engender improved security in the State together with facilities (including a short emergency number like 112) to cater to all emergencies?

What if we could deploy a statewide fibre optics backbone in partnership with telecoms service providers to deliver cheaper internet bandwidth and support the development of tech innovation and incubation hubs to provide a springboard for our teaming youths, startups and small businesses to leapfrog into a successful future?

What if we could enhance school sports, build centers of sporting excellence in each of our Local Government headquarters in partnership with the Federal Government, multinational companies, international sporting agencies and businesses together with organizing regular competitions between the different LGAs?

What if we could reclaim lands swallowed up by sea rises and clean up our polluted lands, swamps, creeks and seas, then introduce lost land and marine resources using an integrated partnership funding model to harness the participation of the federal government and international multilateral agencies and multinational companies working in our communities?

What if we could enhance our existing healthcare systems to drastically reduce HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal, neonatal and infant mortality rates and deliver at least 2 world class tertiary healthcare institutions one of which can deal with various body organ challenges and, above all, cancer?

These are a few of the things that we have planned to do and which will be greatly beneficial to Rivers State and all our people.

Although, I will no longer be vying for the position of Governor of our State on the platform of the PDP, I am still very interested in the governorship race of Rivers State and in the coming days will, after due consultations, inform on the new direction that God has led us to.

Importantly, I am convinced that our developmental ideas will usher in a new paradigm of peace and progress to Rivers State anchored on equity, justice and fairness. So in the spirit of oneness, collective growth and development of our State, all are allowed to utilize any of our developmental models and harness our ideas for the common good of our people. After all we are striving for a greater Rivers State first!


Soalabo is a lawyer and can be reached at www.soalabowest.org

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Alleged N117 Billion Fraud: Wike Talks Tough, Says EFCC Must Follow The Law

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said officials of the state government will appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) only if the anti-graft agency follows the rule of law.

Recall that the EFCC had invited and quizzed the Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo, over alleged N117 billion transaction by the state government in the past three years.

The anti-graft agency is also seeking to quiz four officials of the state who were central to the withdrawals.

However, Wike, in a chat with pressmen at the state government house in Port Harcourt, Wike, said the EFCC is “full of impunity.”

He said: “I am not interested whether EFCC backs off or not. I am not against the EFCC fighting corruption, if at all they are fighting corruption. My concern is we must do it according to the law.”

“The law says that we have a federation comprising the federal government, the states and the local government areas. We go to the monthly federal allocation when money comes to the federation and all tiers take their share. The federal government is now saying that the money that comes to states will be monitored.

“I was not here in 2007. Rivers State Government went to court against the EFCC to say the commission has no constitutional power to interrogate the finances, the expenses of the state government. And the matter was adequately addressed and judgment was given against EFCC.

“Since 2007, EFCC has been struggling to appeal the judgment. EFCC has not succeeded up till now. What they are doing now is when they feel a government is not pro-Buhari, ‘let’s do this’.”

“Nobody will appear before the EFCC until they follow the rule of law. This country must not allow personal interest of individuals. That is a coup against the interest of Nigeria,” he added.

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EFCC Investigates Rivers Govt Over Alleged N117bn Fraud

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have begun investigation into the N117 billion described as “suspicious transactions’’ carried out by the Rivers state government.

According to sources, the monies represent over the counter withdrawals in the last three years.

It quoted EFCC sources alleging that there were indications that the withdrawals from the state accounts were laundered by some state officials.

But the state government has described the investigation as “political witch-hunt” and that it would not be intimidated as the state was covered by 2007 court ruling which forbids probe of the state.

The EFCC had so far listed four suspects for interrogation in connection with the massive withdrawals, including an official in-charge of Finance and Accounts at the Government House and also a cashier.

A bank’s Managing Director (MD) had already been detained after he admitted that N5.2 billion was realised as charges for the “controversial” transactions.

According to the sources, the withdrawals were made in tranches of N10 million with as many as 50 cheques cashed in a day.

The sources said it was a case of “gross violation” of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011.

One of the sources said: “Based on intelligence report, the EFCC swung into action.

“Our findings indicated that the withdrawals were made in cash from the state accounts mostly by one person. There are no records of what the cash was used for. We are working on clues that it was diverted.

“The EFCC team has obtained all the records of the withdrawals, including date and time. For instance, on June 8, 2015 barely few days in government, about 45 cheques amounting to N450million were cashed over the counter for no justifiable purpose.

“Also, on June 9, 2015 about 50 cheques amounting to N500million were withdrawn. We will soon release the details of findings by our team.”

The government has warned that no government would appear before EFCC on the matter until the Court of Appeal sets aside the 2007 judgment barring the commission from investigating the state.

The governor’s Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu quoted Wike as describing the EFCC’s action as a “political witch-hunt”.

“We are not afraid of their probe and they have no power to probe us.

“No government official will appear before the EFCC until they set aside the court judgment of Rivers State Government against them in 2007. We cannot be intimidated.

“They filed for leave to appeal the judgment at the Court of Appeal. Until they set aside the judgment, we will not come.

NAN

 

 

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APC Chieftain, Eze Hails Tinubu, Oshiomhole, Others For Shunning Opening Of Parallel Secretariat In Rivers

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has commended the Party’s National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, erstwhile Vice Chairman of APC in Rivers State, Prince Peter Odike, and several others for shunning the opening of an illegal Rivers APC Parallel Secretariat by Senator Magnus Abe.

Eze, in a statement issued on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, recalled that Abe and his group had inundated the social media ahead of the office opening on August 16, 2018 in Port Harcourt, “claiming that these great leaders of the party would not only grace the commissioning but would play active roles during the event.”

He said it would have been disastrous and impacted negatively on the image of the party if the party leaders had attended the illegal event.

Eze, former National Spokesman of the defunct New PDP (nPDP) and foundation member of APC, described as most unfortunate the decision of Abe, the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, to open an illegal parallel State Secretariat of APC in Rivers State despite being aware that the party has a functional State Secretariat occasioned by a legal Congress sanctioned and monitored by the National leadership of APC.

He expressed shock that “Senator Abe, who is a respected legal practitioner, could involve himself in such an illegality and rascality of opening a parallel State Secretariat of a party that is very much united.” He noted that for a parallel or factional party to exist there must be a parallel congress conducted by the aggrieved party members, saying that was not done by Abe and his supporters.

According to Eze, “Opening a parallel State Executive in the circumstances is not only mischievous, ill-conceived, sad and illegal but is also tantamount to anti-party activities, which is a very serious offence if the party’s constitution is to be strictly followed.”

Eze, who described Abe as his close friend and associate, pleaded with him to remember the efforts that were made to accommodate him and his supporters in the conduct of the congresses in Rivers State and allow peace to reign instead of playing into the hands of Governor Nyesom Wike, “knowing the evil omen that his government represents to Rivers State and her people.”

He advised Abe and his supporters to explore the provisions of the constitution of the party in seeking redress for whatever grievances he may have against the party instead of pursuing a course which they may later regret.

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