U.S.government waives diplomatese to specifically demand the prosecution of former Governor of Delta State, Mr. James Ibori and his former Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Peter Odilli.
The government of United States of America is telling the administration of Mr. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in Nigeria to show more seriousness in prosecuting corrupt and fraudulent officials or risk continued ridicule in the comity of nations.
State Department official, in Washington D.C reliably told pointblanknews.com this week, that the U.S. government is waiving aside diplomatese to specifically demand the prosecution of former Governor of Delta State, Mr. James Ibori and his former Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Peter Odilli for proper trial.
Over =N= 100billion of Rivers State funds have been alleged to have been diverted by former Governor Dr. Odili using Mr. Arumemi- Ikhide and his related companies.
The British government is investigating Mr. Ibori on allegations of the laundering of millions of dollars of looted state funds. But, Mr. Ibori denies the charges of laundering against him.
At the last count, the former governor is said to have looted close to N200 billion from the coffers of Delta State treasury w hile several assets worth £35 million (Thirty Five Million Pounds) overseas alleged to be proceeds of crime and traced to Chief James Ibori have been frozen by a British Court.
According to the sources who asked for anonymity to avoid admonitions for disclosing a top secret diplomatic issue, the State Department, following the recent visits of both President Barrack Obama and Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has followed up with a memo detailing the known fraudulent and corrupt activities of Mr. Ibori and Mr. Odilli. The memo was said to have contained pungent criticisms of the half hearted commitment of the Farida Waziri – led Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, in Nigeria and its treatment of certain categories of Nigerians as sacred cow in the self appointed war of the Yar’Adua’s administration against corruption.
The sources told pointblanknews.com that the said memo included a dossier of the stolen wealth already traced to both Odilli and Ibori by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, C.I.A.
One of the sources explained that the recent critical comments of Obama while in Ghana last month, and later the very direct criticism of EFCC by Mrs. Clinton while visiting Nigeria was the strong indication that the international community would not take Nigeria out of negative reckoning until Ibori, Odilli and other indicted officials were prosecuted according to the existing statue on corruption in Nigeria.
The said memo was said to have also ridiculed the transfer of Ibori’s trial to Asaba as a farce that offers no amusement as it is predictable that his innocence would be stage managed even as evidence continues to show that he indeed stole Delta State dry.
Also the air of silence and inactivity on the allegations against Odilli was raised in the said memo.
Details of Odili’s Looting Spree
Full Text Of The EFCC’s Report That Scuttled Peter Odili’s ambition. The Report Was Addressed To President Olusegun Obasanjo By EFCC’s Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu.
THE INTERIM REPORT ON THE INVESTIGATION OF A CASE OF ALLEGED CONSPIRACY, ABUSE OF OFFICE, FRAUDULENT CONVERSION OF PUBLIC FUNDS, FOREIGN EXCHANGE MALPRACTICE, STEALING AND MONEY LAUNDERING
over the past several weeks, the Commission received numerous petitions against the Executive Governor of River State, Dr. Peter Odili and some officials of the State.
The following report is prepared below to update you on the context, content, and full ramifications of the investigation against Dr. Peter Odili, Executive Governor of River State, and Mr. Arumemi-Ikhide, a business associate of Dr. Odili.
Your Excellency, this is=2 0for your kind review.
In line with its statutory mandate, the Commission received and responded to numerous petitions against the Executive Governor of River State, Dr. Peter Odili and some officials of the State in the past several weeks. After careful investigations, major findings were made with severe implications of fraud, conspiracy, conversion of public funds, foreign exchange malpractice, money laundering, stealing and abuse of oath of office.
2.0 Facts of these of Petitions:
The petitioners stated that they carried out a private investigation into government looting of the treasury of Rivers State by Governor Peter Odili and alleged amongst the following:
i. That the sum of =N=24.6billion was used by the government of Rivers State at various times to build gas turbines as part of its Independent Power Programmme yet the people of the State could not enjoy uninterrupted power failure.
ii. That this elaborate electricity project was executed without appropriate legislation by the State House of Assembly in flagrant abuse Constitutional requirements.
iii. Th at the contractor behind the scam is Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, the proprietor of a number of companies prominent among which are: Rockson Engineering Company Limited, Arik Air, etc.
iv. That the Government of Dr. Peter Odili had several financial dealings amounting to about N3.5 billion Naira with Rockson Engineering Company Limited long before the company was incorporated on 16 th May, 2000.
v. That Rockson Engineering Company Limited was involved in a number of fraudulent procurement of Iveco buses and Ferryboats for the State at the instance of the State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili.
vi. That the same Rockson Engineering Company Limited, with its star quality business leverage, curiously has only two directors which are Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, and his wife, Mrs. Mary Ehiomome Arumemi-Ikhide.
vii. That between December 2005 and January 2006, the sum of over N1 billion was disbursed by Dr. Peter Odili to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the name of 2004 Constituency Project that were never executed.
viii. That there has been illegal diversion of Local Government Councils’ funds by Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Odili to the tune of =N=4,351,555,000.00
ix.=2 0That various illegal diversions of funds from the various State Government accounts were done by the Governor and officials of the State, sometimes through Rockson Engineering Company Limited.
x. That the siphoning of government funds was also done through the State Ecological Fund accounts where =N=176million was collected by Mr. Goodlife Ben, the Accountant of the Government House and =N=34million by one Mr. Vernon.
xi. That the Governor voted and procured two jets and one hundred vehicles committed to his Presidential campaign, as he did not raise any fund from the public for the campaign.
xii. Lastly, the Petitioners called on the Commission to check these frauds.
The Investigating Team commenced full work into the allegation enumerated above by inviting the principal officers of the State that were implicated. The officers invited were the Commissioners for Finance, Local Government and Works, Messrs Kenneth Kobani, Mella O. Oforibika, and Arc Ucheowaji J. Urombo respectively. The Accountant General of the State, Mr. Geoffrey Senior Jaja, was also invited and they all volunteered written statement.
Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, the Chairman of Arik Air Nigeria Limited among several other companies like Rockson Engineering Ltd, Ojemai Holdings Limited, etc20were also invited and volunteered statements. Searches were conducted in the offices of Arik Air Nigeria Ltd. and Rockson Engineering Company Ltd. in Lagos and Port Harcourt respectively. Some documents relating to contracts and foreign exchange transfers were found and retrieved for analyses. Letters have been dispatched to banks to avail the Commission documents and statements of the State and Local Government accounts of Rivers State, of some companies and of individuals. Some banks have forwarded statements and documents, which have been analysed/examined.
based on the investigation carried out so far, the following facts were revealed.
i. Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, the Chairman of several companies, is a major contractor to the Government of Rivers State. He was awarded several contracts by the State Government including the Independent Power Programme (IPP), Supply of buses and cars, etc.
ii. Prior to becoming a major contractor to the State Government in 2000, Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide was a shareholder of, and an Executive Director in, Negris Engineering Nigeria Limited. He worked for the company for over eighteen (18) years before leaving the company, as a result of misunderstanding with the other management staff, to form Rockson Engineering Nigeria Limited in 2000.
iii. While he was still with Negris, he provided an interface between Negris and Rivers State Government during which two major contracts were secured for the company. The contracts were the supply and installation of generating sets and transformers worth =N=401,016,101.00. The other contract was the supply, construction and installation of turbine power station worth =N=4,256,076,000.00 in 2000.
iv. The second contract was about 60% completed when Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide left Negris and suddenly became the consultant to Rivers State on the same contract using his then newly formed company, Rockson Engineering Company Limited. The remaining payment for the Negris contract were routed through his company where the sum of =N=734,764,749.00 is yet to be remitted to Negris.
v. The incorporation of Rockson Engineering in 2000 immediately he left Negris marked the beginning of siphoning huge government funds that run into several billions of naira through gas turbines contract scam.
vi. Rivers State Government diverted the sum of =N=30,031,446,589.70 at various times to account number CA6010914407 at zenith Bank Plc belonging to Rockson Engineering Company Limited just between January 07, 2004 to December 06, 2006.
vii. Investigation also revealed that Rockson Engin eering Company Limited has several bank accounts with Bank PHB Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc. These banks were involved in the inflated contracts between Rivers State Government and Rockson. The statements of accounts from these banks are being awaited to ascertain the magnitude of the inflows of the State Government funds into these
viii. Further investigation disclosed that Dr. Peter Odili curiously approved the remittance of $250,000 to a London-based Swiss Ver Finance, as an arrangement fee for the purchase of two gas turbines transmission towers and accessories.
viv. Mr.Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide has a long-standing relationship with the Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili dating back to middle eighties. He served as an interface between Negris and Rivers State Government. He used one of his companies, Ojemai Investment Ltd to acquire a property at No. 67 Trans Amadi Industrial Layout belonging to UTC Nigeria Plc.for the private hospital called Pamo Clinics and Hospitals Ltd, belonging to Dr. Peter Odili the Governor of Rivers State at a cost of =N=200million.
ix. Investigation revealed that funds were diverted from Rivers State Government Account to Rockson Engineering Limited, where it was transferred installmentally between March 2005 to November 2006 from Bank Account Number 6571020007472 with Union Bank Plc. to the following Companies:
a. Alpha System
& Commodity Co. Ltd = N=3, 957,734,700.00
b. Sea Petroleum
& Gas Co. Ltd. = N=6,623,940,500.00
c. Peg Magrect
Shipping & Trading Ltd. =N=638, 320,000.00
d. Wopat Nig. Ltd. =N= 276,100,000.00
e. Dairy & Live-
Stock Ltd. =N=281,000,000.00
f. Arula Investment =N=330, 000,000.00
Total =N= 12,107,105,000.00
It is important to know that investigation has established that all the money was used to purchase foreign exchange which was exported out of the country.
x. It was revealed that the sum of =N= 2,547,300,000.00 was diverted from Government House Zenith Account No. 6010916589 between September 05 and November 06 to one Emmanuel Nkata, a personal staff of the Governor working at the Rivers state liaison office Abuja. All withdrawals were in cash and without any official transaction and documentation.
xi. It was revealed that the contract for the construction of the River State High Court was bidded at =N=2,582,000,000 but was awarded to one Company called Mega Trend investment company Ltd .. at the value of =N=3,4000,000,000 thereby inflating it by =N= 818 Million in violation of the Due Process requirement of the government.
xii. It has also been discovered that a parallel account called account 2, a/c No. 0130215431600 was opened with UBA PLC in the name of Rockson Engineering. From 2001 when the account was opened to 2002, the sum of =N=12,064,988,787.61 was paid into the account from Rivers state Government. Interestingly, Mr. Arumemi-Ikhide denied knowledge of the existent of this account. So far, the sum of =N=12, 059,602,734.20 has been withdrawn from the said account. This is clear evidence of direct looting of the treasury of Rivers state.
xiii..That Government Funds were diverted to the purchase of various vehicles between January 2005 and June 2006 from various car dealers using Government House account number 6010916587 with Zenith Bank as follows:
a. Peugeot Automobile – #424,474,681.75
b. Cosharis Motors – #166,500,000.00
c. Stallion Motors – #230,500,000.00
d. Ningi Motors – # 75,125,000.00
e. Noble Motors – #39,970,062.25
f. Elizade Motors – #135,700,000.00
g. Inej Mic Automobile – #39,875,000.00
h. Kaara Motors Limited – #6,862,500.00
i. Globe Motors Limited – #18,250,000.00
j. Icon Motors Limited – #7,250,000.00
Total = #1,104,008,304.00
This was unquestionably a ploy used to siphon public funds by the Governor, as no Government House can accommodate vehicles purchased with this a mount of money.
xiv. It was further established that Rockson Engineering Company Limited transferred over $120million through JM/JEM Air and one Thomas Eggar, a lawyer in the UK, to various bank accounts overseas. Over GBP2million and EURO 1million were also transferred overseas in the same manner. These transfers were done between January and November 2006. It is important to note that all the naira denomination of these transfers were direct lodgements originating from Rivers state Government accounts.
xv. It has also been established that Mr Arumemi-Ikhide the business partner of the Rivers State Governor, is the owner of ARIK AIR LIMITED. He used monies received from the Rivers state Government to acquire all the assets and aircrafts of the company estimated to be worth over =N= 25billion.
xvi.The Political and business relationship between Dr. Odili and Mr Arumemi-Ikhide has become more obvious since the former’s declaration to run for the Presidency. Investigation conducted at various hotels such as Transcorp Hilton, le Meridien, Sheraton etc in Abuja revealed that the Odili campaign organization made bookings worth =N=130 million through his campaign management team. The money came directly from the accounts of Arik Air Ltd. The origin of the money is linked directly to Mr. Arumemi-Ikhide for Dr. Odili’s campaign.
From the investigation thus=2 0far, it is abundantly clear that the Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, is using Mr. Arumemi-Ikhide and his Rockson Engineering Company Ltd as a front and a crony for the systematic looting of the treasury of the Rivers state Government.
The result of this relationship reveals that over =N= 100billion of Rivers State funds have been diverted by the Governor Dr. Odili using Mr. Arumemi- Ikhide and his related companies.
Your Excellency, I must also let you know however, that this Investigation is still apace and that further developments will be communicated to you accordingly.
Court Papers Shows Ibori’s Looting Spree
COURT PAPERS SHOWS IBORI’S LOOTING SPREE
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA
HOLDEN BENIN CITY
SUIT NO: FHC/B/CS/862/2007
1. ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF DELTA STATE )
2. DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT)
3. DR. IFEANYI OKOWA).PLAINTIFFS/
(Secretary to the Delta State Government)).APPLICANTS
4. AUDITOR-GENERAL OF DELTA STATE)
1. ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION)
2. THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN,)
(Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) )…DEFENDANTS/
3. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION)…RESPONDENTS
COUNTER AFFIDAVIT OF 1 ST DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT TO THE MOTION DATED 8 TH OCTOBER 2007.
I, YAHAYA BELLO, Male, Nigerian and Police Officer of 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State do hereby make oath and state as follows:
1. I am a Superintendent of Police assigned to the 1 st Defendant by the Authorities of the Nigeria Police Force and by virtue of my position I am familiar with the facts of this case.
2. I have the authority and consent of the 1 st and 2 nd Defendants to depose to this affidavit.
3. I am the head of the team of investigators directed by the 1 st Defendant to investigate the allegations of conspiracy, official corruption, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, stealing and money laundering perpetrated by Chief James Ibori and his aides from 1999 – 2007.
4. While paragraphs 1-9 of the affidavit in support of the motion on notice are correct paragraphs 10-29 thereof are not true.
5. Contrary to the averment in paragraph 12 of the supporting affidavit the 1 st Defendant has no plans to harass any official of the Delta State Government.
6. That in further denial of paragraphs 13, 14,15,16,17 and 18 of the Applicants’ affidavit the 1st and 2nd Defendants/Respondents state that they are guided by the welfare and interest of the citizens of Delta State and would not take steps that will negate the spirit and letters of the law including due process in carrying out its investigative assignments.
7. That in answer to paragraphs 19 and 20 of the Applicants’ affidavit the 1 st and 2 nd Defendants/Respondents denies issuing any threats to the Applicants and has no plans to freeze the accounts of the Delta State Government.
8. That in answer to paragraph 21 of the Applicants’ affidavit the 2 nd Defendant informed and I verily believe that he never granted any such interview where threats were issued on the Applicants.
9. That in denial of paragraph 22 of the Applicants’ affidavit the 1 st and 2 nd Defendants do not intend to ground the activities of the Delta State government but are merely carrying out investigative activities pursuant to the provisions of the EFCC Act 2004 and the request of the London Metropolitan Police in line with the bilateral treaty between Nigeria and United Kingdom.
10. That in denial of paragraph 23(a) of the Applicants’ affidavit the 1 st Defendant never threatened to seal the offices of the various departments of the 2 nd Plaintiff including the Ministry of Finance, the Accountant General’s office and the Auditor-General’s office.
11. That in denial of paragraph 23(b) of the Applicants’ affidavit the 1 st Defendant states that it is not making unlawful efforts to procure and serve freezing orders on the Banks where the 2 nd Plaintiff has or maintains accounts as alleged.
12. That in denial of paragraph 23(c) of the Applicants’ affidavit the 1 st Defendant states that the ongoing efforts of the 1 st Defendant to wipe out economic and financial crimes throughout the country are restoring public confidence and the confidence of foreign investors to invest in Nigeria.
13. The 1 st Defendant has received many petitions alleging the commission of serious economic and financial crimes by Chief James Ibori, his aides and several officials of the Delta State Government.
14. Two of such petitions were sent to the 1 st Defendant by Concerned Elders and Citizens of Delta State from November to December 2006. Attached herewith and marked Exhibits “EFCC1” and “EFCC2” are copies of the said petitions.
15. Some concerned indigenes of Delta State have sued the 1 st Defendant in the Federal High Court over the alleged delay in the prosecution of Chief James Ibori.
16. The investigation carried out by the 1 st Defendant’s team headed by me has revealed the involvement of Chief James Ibori and his accomplices in the following economic and financial crimes:
i. The transfers made into the account of Christine Ibie Ibori (Chief James Ibori’s sister) held in HSBC London was on behalf of Onovin Nig. Ltd., a company solely owned by Vincent Uduaghan, a younger brother to the present governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the latter who had served as Commissioner for Health and Secretary to the State Government under Ibori’s Administration between 1999 and 2007.
ii. Investigation reveals that Onovin Nig. Ltd. was awarded a contract in December 2004 for laying of tartan tracks in Oghara Stadium at the sum of N142.9 million by the Delta State Government.
iii. That said Onovin Nig. Ltd. had secured the services of another company, a German based firm, BSW Postfach 1180, Deutschland for the supply and laying of the tracks in Ogbara Stadium.
iv. A total of two hundred and eighty four thousand Euros (E 284,000.00) was wired to the German Company by Onovin Nig. Ltd. for the job while another sum of N77.8 million naira equivalent from the contract sum was wired to the account of Christine Ibie Ibori, (Chief James Ibori’s sister) held in HSBC, London about the same time.
v. Further investigation carried out on Onovin Nig Ltd. account revealed some monthly lodgments of Delta State Government cheques of five to seven million naira spanning from 2002 to 2007 to the region N350 million naira which the owner claimed to be payments for the supply of fuel to the Government House from Total Nig. Plc. Depot in Benin, Edo State.
vi. That Total Nig. Ltd. which equally had the same contract for the supply of fuel to the government House denied having any dealings with Onovin Nig. Ltd.
vii. That transfers were made into Udoamaka’s account in HSBC London, which originated from three Assurance Bank Drafts amounting to about N140 million.
viii. That investigation conducted on Udoamaka’s accounts such as Sagicon Nig Ltd., Rivbbed Agro Allied, Saagaris Properties, Global Little Drops held in Oceanic and Zenith Banks revealed several lodgment of Delta State Government cheques in the neighborhood of N2 billion out of which N1.3 billion Naira were paid out between May and December 2006.
ix. That several cash lodgments amounting to N400 Million were also noticed both in the personal “Pearl” Account and Companies’ accounts by characters such as Ede Ogoro and Charles Isiayei whom the investigation team discovered to be Private Secretary to the Governor of Delta State and Chief Accountant of the Delta Government House respectively.
x. That the investigation team also discovered other several cash lodgments running into billions of naira which were also made by the above Ede Ogoro and Charles Isiayei in connivance with some Bank officials into the following accounts: Koln Nig. Ltd., Silhouette travels, Prime Chambers, MER Engineering Ltd., Bainenox Ltd. and so on spanning from 2001 to the last day of James Ibori Administration and purely drawn from the “Security Votes” of the State under the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Asaba.
xi That Prime Chambers, one of the beneficiaries of the billions of naira cash lodgments is owned by Professor Utuama, the present Deputy Governor of the State and a former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice during Ibori’s administration.
Xii That Bainenox Ltd. account in UBA Plc is being operated by Chiedu Ibie, who is also a Director of MER Engineering and Koln Nig. Ltd. Companies believed to be owned by Chief James Ibori.
xiii. That investigation on Wings Aviation reveals an on-going transaction between the Aviation Company and Bombardier Inc. (Canada) over the purchase of an air craft at the cost of USD 25 million for the personal use of Chief James Ibori.
xiv That payments were made to the UK Solicitors by Wings Aviation Parabola International Corp (a Mauritius based company owned by a Zambian (Edward Shamutete) linked to Chief James Ibori), Copex Management Service, another Mauritius firm on behalf of Erin Aviation, Pamaron Oil and Gas etc.
xv. That part of the money paid from Nigeria for the purchase of the aircraft was the USD 1 million Dollars paid to the Solicitors by Pamaron Oil and Gas Ltd from Fidelity Bank.
xvi. That further investigation however revealed that the transaction was made on the order of Bi Courtney Ltd. through another company, Flodan Ltd. These two companies which moved money for Chief James Ibori by using another company, BIADOXE Ltd. as a disguise, are owned by the same person.
xvii. That investigation on the acquisition of NAFCON revealed that O-secul Nig. Ltd., a company owned by Mike Orugbo bidded and acquired the company in 2005 for the sum of USD 152 million dollars.
xviii. That during the bid process, the sum of USD 2 million dollars was sourced by Mike Orugbo and paid to the company’s liquidators via a new Nigerian Bank for the sum of N280 million naira issued sometime in August 2005.
xix. That investigation showed that the Oceanic Bank raised the remaining money on behalf of O-secul for the acquisition of the fertilizer company while there exists no evidence of previous banking relationship between O-Secul and Oceanic Bank but the Bank felt comfortable in granting the large facility to the company.
xx. That the sum of USD 46 million dollars was received by the Bank via a Certificate of Capital Importation from Copex Management Service, the same Company that wired money to UK Solicitors for the acquisition of aircraft on behalf of Erin Aviation, this time, on behalf of ‘NOTORE Mauritius’ for the acquisition of 39% of NAFCON now NOTORE chemical industries Nig. Ltd.
xxi That the so-called Notore Mauritius is a group of foreign investors mainly from EMP a US based firm and Egypt Fertilizer Company as claimed while investigation further revealed that the duo were brought into the investment by the same UK Solicitors, Arlington Sharmas.
xxii. That another payment of N4.418 billion was received by Oceanic Bank from Brisbane Ltd. via two Intercontinental Bank Manager’s Cheques for acquisition of 13% of the fertilizer company while Brisbane Ltd. is owned by Henry Imasekha who is also the sole owner of Berkeley Group.
xxiii. That investigation on the origin of the money paid Brisbane however, revealed that in 2001 Mr. Henry Masekha used Bromley Ltd. to secure a loan of N2.2 billion naira from New Nigeria Bank without any collateral or evidence of previous Banking relationship with the Bank and purchased 10% of Econet Nigeria Ltd. (now Celtel) while few weeks later ‘Delta State Government’ bought 5% of the Econet shares from Bromley Ltd. at the sum of N2.5 billion naira via a Standard Trust Bank Draft which he used in liquidating the New Nigeria Bank facility.
xxiv. That in 2006 during the taking over of V-mobile by Celtel, Bromley Ltd. sold the remaining shares to Celtel and it is from this money that Brisbane Ltd. acquired 13% of the fertilizer company.
xxv. That investigation on share placements in Nigerian banks and companies revealed the diversion of N5 Billion from the accounts of the Delta State Government in Oceanic Bank and Zenith Bank for the purchase of Afribank shares for Chief James Ibori. The fraudulent transactions were perpetrated through the use of 14 fictitious companies such as Double Dip Nig. Ltd., Arusha Nig. Ltd., Abajim Nig Ltd., Lugba Nig. Ltd., Mombassa Nig. Ltd., Limpopo Nig. Ltd., Zaragoza Nig. Ltd., Sandton Nig. Ltd. etc.
That the 1 st Defendant’s/ Respondent’s intervention succeeded in putting a stop to the diversion of the funds to Chief Ibori’s private hands and recovered the said funds with even a benefit of capital gain on the investment.
xxvii. That the funds have since been returned to the coffers of the Delta State Government to enable the Government carry out valuable projects for the people of Delta State.
That investigation on allegations of public funds diversion to acquire
Wilbros Nig. Ltd., a multinational oil servicing firm in Port
Harcourt sometime in 2006.
xxix That the said Wilbros Nig. Ltd was acquired for USD 155 million by a new established company Ascot Offshore Nig. Ltd. registered and solely owned by Mr. Henry Imasekha, the same character moving funds in Celtel, Oando and NOTORE chemical industries.
xxx. That on the assumption of office as Governor of Delta State in 2003 Chief James Ibori declared having only four (4) properties he acquired from 1995 and 1999 all valued at N100 million naira and seven (7) plots of land acquired between 1983 and 2000 with a total value of N5 million naira. Our investigation has so far revealed the acquisition of over 20 properties in and outside Nigeria by Chief James Ibori.
That our enquiries also confirmed allegation of massive fraud and theft of public funds against Chief James Ibori in collaboration with the State House of Assembly members using supplementary budget as disguise.
xxxii. That supplementary appropriation was sent to the State Assembly for the approval of over N40 billion naira between 1999 and 2005 accompanied with executive letters all dated 2004 signed by Chief Ibori for the requests. The proceeds of this massive fraud are currently being traced.
xxxiii. Several billions of Naira meant for “Security Vote” by the Delta
State Government from 1999-2007 were diverted by Chief James
Ibori and his collaborators.
17. That based on the foregoing the 1 st Defendant/Respondent has concluded investigation into the aforesaid allegations of serious economic and financial crimes and is ready to prosecute all those found to be culpable in the circumstances.
18. Apart from the foregoing the 1 st Defendant has also been directed by the Federal Government to assist the Metropolitan Police in the investigation of money laundering offences allegedly committed in the United Kingdom by Chief James Ibori and three of his personal aides. Attached herewith and marked Exhibit EFCC 3 is a copy of the letter of the 3 rd Defendant dated 28 th September, 2007.
19. Following the directive of the Federal Government the 1 st Defendant has assisted the Metropolitan Police in the said investigation of money laundering offences committed in the United Kingdom by Chief James Ibori and his aides.
20. Chief James Ibori has not filed any case against the Defendants as his civil rights have neither been violated nor threatened in the course of the comprehensive investigation embarked upon by the 1 st Defendant.
21. Chief James Ibori was not arrested but invited to assist the 1 st Defendant in the investigation of his alleged involvement in serious economic and financial crimes.
22. Chief James Ibori responded to our invitation and made useful statements in the course of the investigation and was therefore granted bail in self recognizance.
23. Public officers in the service of the Delta State Government and private persons including officials of banks and other corporate bodies have also made statements in connection with the allegations of fraud, theft and money laundering running into several billions of naira belonging to the Government of Delta State.
24. The Plaintiffs have benefited from the investigation conducted so far by the 1 st Defendant as the sum of N5 billion illegally diverted by Chief James Ibori to acquire shares for himself has been recovered and paid back to the coffers of the Delta State Government.
25. The Authorities of the United Kingdom and Nigeria are currently involved in recovering other ill-gotten assets of Chief James Ibori and his fronts for the benefit of the people of Delta State.
26. Several assets worth £35 million (Thirty Five Million Pounds) overseas alleged to be proceeds of crime and traced to Chief James Ibori have been frozen by a British Court.
27. Instead of co-operating with the Defendants to recover the looted wealth of the impoverished people of Delta State the Plaintiffs are using the machinery of government to frustrate the investigation and prosecution of criminal suspects.
28. The Plaintiffs rushed to file this suit on October 8, 2007 in order to frustrate the investigation and prosecution of Chief James Ibori and his aides.
29. Before the order ex parte was issued by this Honourable Court the 1 st Defendant had concluded its investigation and would have charged the said Chief James Ibori to Court but for the fact that he secretly left the country.
30. That the restraining order sought by the Applicants is designed to shield criminal suspects from prosecution and thereby promote corruption and abuse of office with impunity.
31. That I make this declaration in good faith.
SWORN TO at the Federal High
Court Registry, Benin City
This…………. Day of ………….. 2007
COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS
FOR SERVICE ON:
THE PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL
KEN E. MOZIA & CO.
81 MISSION ROAD ,
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA
HOLDEN BENIN CITY
SUIT NO: FHC/B/CS/862/2007
1. ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF DELTA STATE )
2. DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT )
3. DR. IFEANYI OKOWA )..PLAINTIFFS/
(Secretary to the Delta State Government) )..APPLICANTS
4. AUDITOR-GENERAL OF DELTA STATE )
1. ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION)
2. THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, )
(Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) )…DEFENDANTS/
3. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION )…RESPONDENTS
NOTICE OF PRELIMINARY OBJECTION
TAKE NOTICE that at the hearing of the Plaintiffs’/Applicants’ Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction dated 8 th of October 2007 the 1 st and 2 nd Defendants will raise a Preliminary
i. The Honourable Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the substantive suit as it has no judicial power to confer immunity on persons reasonably suspected to have committed serious economic and financial crimes.
ii. The substantive action is incompetent, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process.
a. By virtue of the provision of the Economic and Financial Crimes Act 2004 and Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004 the 1 st Defendant is empowered to investigate allegations of conspiracy, official corruption, misappropriation of public funds, stealing and money laundering perpetrated by past and serving officials of the Delta State Government.
b. The former and current officials of the Delta State Government are not immune from investigation in respect of allegations of sundry economic and financial crimes perpetrated from 1999 to date.
c. The 1 st Defendant’s letter Reference No: CR:300/EFCC/ABJ/ASO/ TM.3/Vol.2/321 dated 6 th June 2001 is within the purview of the statutory duties and functions assigned to the 1 st Defendant by virtue of the Economic and Financial Crimes Act 2004 and Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004.
d. The Federal High Court lacks the competence to prevent the 1 st Defendant from carrying out its statutory duties and functions.
e. By virtue of the Agreement Between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the investigation and prosecution of crime and the confiscation of the proceeds of crime, 1989 Nigeria is under an obligation to assist the United Kingdom in the investigation of money laundering charges involving Chief James Ibori and his personal aides.
AN ORDER SETTING ASIDE the ex parte order granted by this Honourable Court on the 9 th day of October, 2007.
There was no urgency warranting the grant of ex parte order on 9/10/2007 on the basis of a letter written to the Plaintiffs on 6/6/2007.
The Plaintiffs suppressed and conceded material facts in the affidavit in support of the motion ex parte.
There ex parte order has shielded former and current public officers in Delta State including those who are not parties to the suit from investigating and prosecution on account of economic and financial crimes committed by them.
The Honourable Court lacks the vires to restrain the 1 st Defendant from arresting, investigating and prosecuting criminal suspects accused of engaging in financial and economic crimes.
The ex parte order is at large and seeks to preclude the 1 st and 2 nd Defendants from discharging their statutory responsibilities under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act) 2004.
Dated this…………day of October, 2007
W.K. SHITTU ESQ.
W.K. SHITTU & CO.
1 ST DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL
93 ALLEN AVENUE ,
FOR SERVICE ON:
THE PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL
KEN E. MOZIA & CO.
81 MISSION ROAD ,