Rivers: Ex-Governor, Peter Odili, Under Probe For N100BN Fraud
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Rivers: Ex-Governor, Peter Odili, Under Probe For N100BN Fraud

Yusuf Dotun

A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, is currently under probe for allegedly diverting N100 billion for personal use.

He was alleged to have moved about N4 billion in cash to a bank between 2004 and 2006, in favour of his Aide-De-Camp, Isaac Onyesom, and Emmanuel Nkata, who worked in the Rivers State liaison office in Abuja.

Odili was a Governor between 1999 and 2007.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a fact sheet on the probe also alleged that N1.5 billion out of the amount was used by the ex-governor to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA.

It was alleged that about N100 million was doled out to a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on November 28, 2005.

But while still under probe, the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike was alleged to have transferred suspicious N2billion (public funds) to some firms belonging to Odili between 2016 and 2018.

There were indications that Odili might be put on trial by the EFCC.

But Odili in a suit FHC/ PHC/C3/26/2020 dated March 12, 2020, asked a Federal High Court to restrain the EFCC from investigating him.

He said the EFCC was bound by the 2007 judgments of the Federal High Court on the perpetual injunction against his arrest and prosecution.

He said the EFCC had been threatening to arrest, detain and prosecute him.

According to document on the status of investigation on Odili, the EFCC claimed that the ex-governor allegedly laundered the N100 billion under the guise of pursuing a Power Project in Rivers State.

The document read in part: “The Commission wishes to once again explain the case being investigated for which some restraining orders were obtained by both the representative of Rivers State Government and Dr. Peter Odili and also the new intelligence that were got against the third party which had link with some group of companies belonging to Odili.

“For the purpose of clarity, the commission wishes to put more light on the ongoing investigation in 2006 before it was aborted by some high court, based on a suit instituted by the former Governor of River State and some officials of the State govt.

“The petitioner had alleged that Dr. Peter Odili, then a governor of Rivers State had conspired with officials of his government and the chairman, Rocksons Engineering Group of Companies to divert over N100billion from the account of Rivers State, alleging that he used same for Power Project in Rivers.

“The petitioner also went further to say that part of the state fund was moved to the Government House account, from where it was distributed to the then governor and his relatives and investigation commence.

“The said account of the Government House was immediately obtained and details of the account revealed that about N4 billion between 2004 and 2006 was moved in cash in favour Odili’s ADC, Isaac Onyesom and one Emmanuel Nkata of the Rivers State liaison office, Abuja.

“These funds were withdrawn in cash for the former governor of Rivers State. Emmanuel Nkatah was arrested and he confirmed that the funds were withdrawn for the former governor through his ADC.”

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