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EFCC Gives Imo Government #5.7bn, Part Of #7.9bn Seized From Former Gov Okorocha.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told a former Governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to get ready for his day in court.

Speaking at the commission’s zonal office in Port Harcourt, Rivers on Thursday, the Zonal Head, Usman Imam, said N7.9bn belonging to Imo was seized from the former governor during EFCC investigations.

Imam, who has been in charge of the ongoing probe of the former governor, said the commission returned over N5.7bn to various administrations in Imo to pay salaries and pensions of workers.

He said: “I started the Imo state case in Enugu and upon my deployment to this zone, the investigations of corruption allegations against the former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was transfered from the Enugu zone to Port Harcourt for further investigations.

“Within the period, the commission succeeded in freezing about N7.9bn in different accounts. All the monies that were released to Imo State government were from the N7.9bn recovered from Okorocha. The monies were released in batches.

“N2.7bn was released in March for salaries. In the PDP government of Emeka Ihedioha, excess of N2.5bn upon series of writings and our insistence of monitoring it, was released to pay salaries and pensions because they were monies recovered from the state so it has to go back to the state.

Then the government of Emeka left and this government came, we had a remnant of the money in excess of N2bn. We were able to release N514milion just last month because excess of about N1.8bn is encumbered with a court process. Contractors went to court and targeted the funds. The process is lingering. They still have excess of N1.8bn that is not released”.

Apart from the money recovered from Okorocha, the EFCC zonal boss said the senator’s assets were also identified in Imo and Abuja and seized by the commission.

He said the commission filed a court process for interim forfeiture of the assets confiscated from Okorocha.

He said: “The investigation has got to an advanced stage and we are expecting that on conclusion, we are going to arraign the former governor.

“It is in the course of investigations that we targeted his assets. Some are in Imo, Owerri and some are in Abuja. We marked these properties in Abuja and we have filed court processes for interim forfeiture of these assets. The target is to conclude the investigations and he will have his day in court”.

Imam explained that since he assumed the leadership of the zone in January, the commission has recovered N291.8million, 847,983 US Dollars, 390 pounds, 10,900 Euros and 500 CFA.

He said the commission also froze over N1.1bn in the accounts of Bluekey Technologies allegedly operating a ponzi scheme and defrauding over 8,926 victims of over N4.4bn.

He said the EFFCC further secured interim forfeiture of 96 trucks, vessels and barges while 226 drums of automotive gas oil and 1million litres of suspected crude oil were finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Imam explained that the son received 441 petitions, successfully investigated 262 with 159 awaiting legal advice and 20 others charged to court.

On the challenges of the commission, he said: “Fighting corruption comes with its peculiar challenges. The corrupt are not going to fold their hands while you retrieve what they had stolen. They would fight back.

“This has come in the form of sponsored media attacks. A blogger, one Dikeocha Chukwuebuka, who caused the zone serious blushes by posting fake pictures of purported overcrowded EFCC cell was arrested and currently under prosecution.

“Other challenges are non-cooperation,m and delayed response to this commission’s enquiries by some agencies; logistic challenge in investigating oil bunkering cases and inadequate office accommodation for staff”.

“In spite of the challenges, the zone remains committed to actualising the mandate of the commission, which is to eradicate corruption in Nigeria”.

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A’Court Rulling: Pro-Fubara Assembly Heads For Supreme Court

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The lingering supremacy battle between the Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and lawmakers loyal to his estranged godfather and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has shifted to the Supreme Court.

The Speaker of the lawmakers loyal to Fubara in the state House of Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, said the factional assembly had filed an appeal at the apex court to challenge the judgement by the Appeal Court delivered in Abuja on Wednesday.

Recall that the Appeal Court had nullified the order of a Rivers State High Court which restrained Amaewhule and other pro Wike lawmakers from parading themselves as lawmakers.

The Court also said only the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter of the lawmakers.

Reacting, Governor Fubara said his administration remains undeterred by the appeal court ruling and will not waver in its commitment to providing critical infrastructure for the state.

According to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, the governor gave the assurance on Friday after inspecting the extent of reconstruction work done at the Zonal Hospital project at Bori Town, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area in the state.

He said: “I know that a lot of you will be wondering what is going on and all that. Government has its own challenges. If you go to the book of Psalm 23 verse 5, in the Bible, it says that God prepares a table before you; it can be before anybody.

“But there is an underlined word that should be noted there: it said ‘in the presence of your enemies’. So, it means that nothing comes easy.

“I want to assure every one of you and the good people of Rivers State, that we are not deterred. We have made our promises; we will continue to give you good governance, no matter how difficult it is.

“But, like I said before, the worst is over. We are moving on to ensure that we continue to provide what is needed for the development of our State.”

Similarly, in a statement issued by a factional Clerk of the House, Dr G. M. Gillis-West in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Friday, Oko-Jumbo said the Appeal Court acted in error and his faction had filed an appeal at the apex court to correct the error.

“There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any State in Nigeria. This House of Assembly, with me as the Speaker, is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

“The Court of Appeal also did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 ORS are still members of the RSHA.

“We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th Day of July, 2024.

“Martin Amaewhule & 24 others, in spite of all their pretences, are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and they remain so until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise,” Oko-Jumbo stated.

 

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Photos As GAC Members Meet Obasa Over Proposed Lagos Electricity Law

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A delegation of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) has visited the Lagos State House of Assembly and held a meeting with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

The meeting which held behind closed doors on Thursday afforded a fruitful discussion concerning the proposed Lagos Electrification Agency Law which recently scaled second reading during plenary.

The GAC delegation at the meeting included Cardinal James Odumbaku, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, Otunba Henry Ajomale, Dr. Yomi Finnih, and Otunba Femi Pedro.

 

From left … Cardinal James Odumbaku, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, Otunba Henry Ajomale, Rt. Hon. Dr. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Dr. Yomi Finnih, Otunba Femi Pedro

On Tuesday June 25, Dr. Obasa committed the bill to the Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources with a two-week mandate for the latter to report back to the House.

This was after lawmakers at the day’s sitting debated the pros and cons of the bill which targets to repeal the Lagos Electric Power Reform Law, 2018 to provide for the creation and administration of the Lagos Electricity Market.

The bill further seeks to establish a commercial and technical regulatory framework for the electricity market with the purpose of ensuring reliable and universal access to electricity for all residents of the State.

Also, the bill seeks to establish the Lagos State Electrification Fund for the delivery of reliable electricity supply to the underserved areas of the State.

Speaking about the bill, the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Hon. Sobur Oluwa, had said it was “very essential as it gives room for Lagos State to regulate its power supply and transmit electricity at its own pace.”

 

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LP Crisis: Let’s Put Our Differences Aside – Peter Obi To Party Members

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Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the 2023 general election has urged members of the party to put away differences and work together for harmony to thrive in the party.

Obi, who made this call on Friday via his X handle, said they would emerge stronger and more united than ever.

He stressed the need for moving forward with a shared sense of purpose and vision.

He expressed confidence that the party would overcome the current crisis through open communication, empathy, and willingness to listen.

“We will successfully resolve our differences and emerge stronger and more united than ever. Our strength lies in greater unity for our common national good.

“I reiterate my earlier appeal for us to put aside our differences and work together in a spirit of harmony and mutual understanding,” he said.

 

 

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