- EFCC has secured warrant to arrest four top officials of Rivers state government over N117b suspicious transactions
- It was alleged that the cash was withdrawn over the counter between 2015 and 2018
- The officials were said to have gone underground following the decision of the state government not to hand them over to the EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured a warrant to arrest four top officials of the Rivers state government in connection with N117 billion suspicious transactions.
The Nation reports that the cash was allegedly withdrawn over the counter in the last three years.
Legit.ng gathered that the officials, including the director of finance and accounts at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Fubara Similari and the cashier, may be declared wanted if the move to arrest them fails.
It was reported that there were indications on Monday night, September 10, that the officials had gone underground following the decision of the state government not to hand them over to the EFCC.
After obtaining a court’s green light to arrest the four key suspects implicated in the cash withdrawals, the EFCC has its detectives on standby to arrest them.
“The EFCC is also now empowered by the law to watch-list these state officials which will make it possible to pick them up in any part of the country and abroad.
“So, we are now on the trail of the affected officials. But, if they remain underground, we may declare them wanted.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “None of the officials has immunity from arrest, investigation and prosecution.”
The state government has said that an order that its officials should not be arrested was yet to be vacated.
But the EFCC source said: “The reference to a 2007 court order by the Rivers State government is just a desperate attempt to cling at any straw.
“We have records to show that when Governor Nyesom Wike was chief of staff at the same Government House, he was invited, interrogated and detained by the EFCC on June 10, 2008.
“As a law-abiding agency, the EFCC will continue to do its work without fear or favour. We will get to the root of the illegal withdrawal of N117 billion in cash and without official records.”
The source admitted that the bank where the cash was withdrawn refused to avail appropriate agencies of a “Suspicious Transaction Report (STR).”
“This is a case of gross violation of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, especially sections on Special surveillance on certain transactions and Limitation to make or accept cash payment,” the source added.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was alerted on an alleged corruption act ongoing in the country by foreign contractors.
The alarm was raised by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and Connected Development (CODE). The groups led by the chief executive officers, Moses Siloko Siasia (NYPF) and Hamzat Lawal (CODE) marched to the Abuja office of the EFCC on Monday, August 27.
They specifically asked the anti-graft commission to investigate suspected fraud and corruption within the oil and gas sector by some foreign contractors operating in the country.
Top Nigeria Corruption Scandals: Joshua Dariye, Olisa Metuh and Sambo Dasuki - on Legit.ng TV