Following the reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is set to reopen the record books to probe the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, there is anxiety in some quarters in Rivers State as
The renewed probe is coming after more than sixteen years when the anti-graft agency alleged that Dr. Odili had questions to answer over the sum of ₦100billion fraud involving him.
Recall that Odili who had obtained a perpetual injunction towards the end of his eight years in office is being investigated to provide answers to how such a huge sum of money found its way into his private account or was expended by his administration.
The former Rivers Governor’s travail began during the era of President Olusegun Obasanjo when he (Odili) braced all the odds to win the presidential ticket of the People’s democratic party, PDP and was allegedly stopped on his tract following some information bordering on financial impropriety in his administration.
￼Interestingly, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who was the chairman of the EFCC then is now the National Security Adviser, NSA, to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the then Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly under Odili was arrested by the anti-graft agency to extract vital information on the financial transactions of the state.
In 2008, Odili approached the federal high court and was granted a perpetual injunction stopping the EFCC, its chairman and other operatives from investigating the financial books of the Rivers state Government including himself or any official of the state on the subject matter.
After over 16 years, EFCC has now come up to say that it is re-beaming its searchlight on the alleged fraud involving the former Rivers State governor.
It is difficult to insinuate whether the renewed probe has any link with the political crisis bedevilling the state because Odili is not the only former Governor who is being investigated.
EFCC is set to also investigate 12 other former governors including two former Ekiti State governors, Kayode Fayemi and Ayo Fayose; former Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle; and two former Enugu State governors, Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime.
Also, former Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Adamu; former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Abia State governor, Theodore Orji; former Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje; former Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamako; former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva; and former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido.
Matawalle serves as the Minister of Defence in the administration of President Bola Tinubu and is being probed for alleged N70bn money laundering.