Monday, September 30, 2013

PDP crisis: Group calls on EFCC to probe Rivers’ N2.4trillion earnings

The troubles being faced by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State seem to continually multiply as a development group in the state has urged that the financial affairs of the state under his tenure be probed.
The Rivers Integrity and Development Forum (RIDF) have reportedly accused the embattled governor of financial misappropriation and have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate him.
Chairman of the group, Warigbani Ezekiel, who reportedly briefed newsmen in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said it beats the group’s imagination that Rivers since the governorship of Amaechi in 2007 has received over N2.4trillion statutory allocation as well as internally generated revenue and yet has a debt profile of between N250 billion to N500 billion.

Reacting to the allegations and call for EFFC probe, Chief of Staff to Government House, Mr. Tony Okocha, said there was a subsisting court order barring any agency from probing any official of the Rivers State Government or any of its agencies.
Okocha said: “Until that order is vacated by a court of competent jurisdiction, no agency of the Federal Government, be it the EFCC or Independent Corrupt Practice Commission, ICPC, can probe the Government of Rivers State.
“Those who want to come to equity must come with clean hands. The court has ordered that the government of Governor Amaechi should not be probed.”
Continuing, Ezekiel alleged: “At inception of office, Amaechi promised Rivers people that he was saving N1 billion monthly on their behalf as a kind of state Sovereign Wealth Fund. From that promise to this month is a clear 58 months. That means N58 billion had been saved for Rivers people. Surprisingly thus far, the state is in debts.
“Governor Amaechi has hidden under the façade of infrastructural development to borrow sundry sums.”
Today, Rivers people are embarrassingly at loss as to the exact debt profile of the state, which is estimated to be between N250billion to N500billion.”
The group also accused the Amaechi’s government of giving conflicting figures on the debt profile of the state as well as duplication, inflation and partisan award of contracts at the detriment of the state’s treasury, while also flaying sales of government property and seizure of communal lands for alleged transfer to private concerns.

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