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Sunday, 26 June 2016
EFCC, A National Embarrassment – Wike
Lagos – Nyesom Wike, the Rivers State governor, has denied a story carried by a national daily (not Independent) on Friday June 24, 2016 alleging that one “Mr Kinsgsely Fubara”, said to be a Director of Finance and Administration, in the state’s Government House, made repeated withdrawals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Zenith Bank to the tune of N11 billion.
According to the report, the “suspicious withdrawals” on behalf of the Rivers State government were made between December 2015 and February 2016.
Dr. Austin Tam-George, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, in a statement made available to Independent on Saturday, said “the government categorically denies this fabricated and irresponsible publication.” Tam-George stressed that the Rivers State government never conducted such financial transactions, even as he described the report as patently false. He stated the government had no record of any staff known as Kingsely Fubara, who he described as “a fictional character” created by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the newspaper to embarrass the government and deceive the public.
Tam-George stated that the report also indicated that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe “these so-called withdrawals”, stressing that such a directive, if true, would be “a manifestly illegal and ridiculous proposition.” According to him, “by law, the Rivers State government is accountable to the Rivers State House of Assembly and the people of Rivers State, not to the Attorney General of the Federation. “This is a totally fictitious report typically orchestrated by the APC and its media allies. But, the story raises fundamental questions about the moral horror that confronts a nation where an anti-graft agency becomes openly partisan in all its intentions and actions. “There is universal concern that the EFCC is playing an extremely corrosive role in the current political dispensation. Rather than fight corruption in a professional and dispassionate manner, the EFCC behaves shamelessly like an integral organ of the APC.” He described the anti-graft commission as a national embarrassment as he claimed that the agency had been targeting only opposition politicians and “critics of the failed policies of the APC government.” Tam-George asked: “Has the EFCC ever heard of one Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the former governor of Rivers State and current Minister of Transport? Despite receiving over N3trillion in eight years as governor, Amaechi left the most abandoned projects in the history of Rivers State, since 1967. Several petitions against Amaechi, supported by sworn affidavits, have all been summarily ignored by the EFCC. “Even chieftains of the APC have publicly acknowledged Rotimi Amaechi’s stupendous financial contributions to the party’s presidential campaign in 2015. These financial contributions, estimated to be in billions of naira, constitute serious financial crime against the people of Rivers State. “The government and people of Rivers State will resist any politically motivated targeting of its leaders by any agency of the Federal Government, by whatever name it is called.”