The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced probe on the administration of the immediate past governor of Rivers state, of Rotimi Amaechi. According to a report by ThisDay, the probe comes after a Port Harcourt-based group, The Integrity Group, petitioned EFCC on July 29th, accusing the former governor of corruption, graft and abuse of office while he served as governor.
According to the petition filed by the group, Governor Amaechi allegedly sold the Rivers State Electric Power projects and the revenue generated were converted to other uses through payments amounting to N60 billion to three companies all located at Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt.The group also allege that the proposed Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital in Port Harcourt which was initiated by the former governor, was a failed contract which cost the state a whooping N4.63 billion. They say the circumstances leading to the failure of the contract is questionable.
The group also allege that the former governor, appointed a firm of tax consultants, which was given a relatively exorbitant fee of 12 per cent of taxes collected on a much lower monthly collection target of N2.5 billion, even as the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service was raking in about N7.5 billion monthly at five per cent administrative cost, as prescribed by law. The consultants were said to have collected over N1.5 billion in fees within weeks of their being engaged by Amaechi’s government.
EFCC operatives responded to the petition in three separate letters titled, “Investigation Activities”, and dated August 13, 2015 and immediately swung into a detailed probe of Amaechi’s dealings as alleged by the group.
While two of the letters with reference numbers CR: 30/EFCC/ABJ/EG/T4/Vol.26/386 and CR: 30/EFCC/ABJ/EG/T4/Vol.26/379, respectively were addressed to the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Finance, in respect of the sale of the state power projects as well as Clinoriv Specialist Hospital and Leisure Limited, which was engaged to have constructed the still-born Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital, the third one with reference number CR: 30/EFCC/ABJ/EG/T4/Vol.26/380 was addressed to the state Accountant-General in respect of the activities of Messrs Collect Nigeria Limited on the collection of internally generated revenue (IGR) on behalf of the state.
One of the EFCC letters to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, read in part: “The commission is investigating a case of conspiracy, abuse of office and fraud. In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish the following: Details of all the assets sold to the NG Power-HPS Limited; total amount received and the account it was paid into; Sales Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding; House of Assembly resolution/approval; investments made from the proceeds if any; documents indicating due process; and any other information that will assist the commission in its investigation.”