Odili approaches court as EFCC begins probe of alleged N100b fraud
Former Governor Peter Odili has approached the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt for a restraining order as the Economic and Financial begins investigating him for alleged diversion of over N100 billion belonging to Rivers State.
In the suit numbered FH/PHC/C3/26/2020 and dated February 20, 2020, the applicant is seeking an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the anti-graft agency from arresting, arraigning and prosecuting him in any court pursuant to any investigation that borders on any alleged financial impropriety during his tenure as governor of the state between 1999 and 2007.
But the EFCC yesterday gave an update on the case being investigated for which some restraining orders were obtained by both the representatives of the state government and Odili, adding that new intelligence reports gotten against the third party had alleged link with some group of companies belonging to the ex-governor
A top official at the commission told The Guardian: “For the purposes of clarity, the EFCC wishes to shed more light on the ongoing investigation in 2006 before it was aborted by some high courts based on suits instituted by the former Governor of River State, Dr. Peter Odili and some officials of the state government.
“The petitioner had alleged that Dr. Peter Odili, then a governor of River State, had conspired with officials of his government and the chairman of Rocksons Engineering Group of Companies to divert over N100 billion from the accounts of Rivers State, alleging that he used same for power projects in Rivers.
“The petitioner also went further to say that part of the state funds was moved to the Government House account from where it was distributed to the then governor and his relatives before the investigation commenced.”
He further claimed: “The account of the Government House domiciled in a new generation bank was immediately obtained and details of the account revealed that between 2004 and 2006, about N4 billion was moved in cash to the branch in Maitama in favour of Odili’s ADC, Isaac Onyesom and one Emmanuel Nkata who was a staff in Rivers State liaison office in Abuja.
“These funds were withdrawn for the former governor. Emmanuel Nkata was arrested and he confirmed that the funds were withdrawn for the former governor through his ADC. The investigation was on when the ADC, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP), suddenly retired from the police and disappeared into tiny air.”