The EFCC consistently ignored volumes of petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of corrupt members of the ruling APC despite overwhelming evidence at its disposal.
Information at our disposal confirms that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC consistently ignored volumes of petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of corrupt members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, despite overwhelming evidence at its disposal.
This came against the backdrop of statements credited to the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, trying to defend allegations of political witch hunt against the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and failing to arrest and prosecute corrupt members of the ruling APC.
Below is the petition containing verifiable allegations against Rotmi Amaechi sent to the EFCC on 29 July 2015. But EFCC could not do anything because findings have revealed that Chibuike Amaechi, the immediate past governor of Rivers state and current minister of transport, allegedly acquired and diverted not less than N40 billion of the state funds into the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Magu while responding to allegations that the ongoing war against corruption appears targeted at members of the opposition, maintained that the commission has not received any petition against alleged corrupt APC members.
“Such accusations have come up a lot, but we work with petitions before us. In fact, I am eager and waiting for something from the other side, but nothing has come so far,” Magu had said.
The Opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had earlier noted that while former PDP governors and ministers are being arrested over orchestrated petitions, their APC counterparts, with more damaging petitions are being shielded by the presidency and given “juicy” ministerial positions.
“Instead of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, to act on the petitions against Messrs. Fashola and Amaechi, they were being “rewarded” with ministerial appointments,” PDP had stated.
Behold the petition against the APC Presidential sponsor, Rotimi Amaechi:
29 July 2015
The Executive Chairman
Economic and Financial Crimes
No. 5, Fomella Street,
Off Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent,
Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria
The Head of Operations
Economic and Financial Crimes
6A Olumeni Street
Old GRA, Port Harcourt,
Rivers State Nigeria
CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST, UNLAWFUL ENRICHMENT AND CONVERSION OF OVER 70 BILLION NAIRA STATE RESOURCES BY FORMER GOVERNOR ROTIMI AMAECHI AND OTHER STATE FUNCTIONARIES
We are a Non-Governmental Organization operating in Rivers State. Our basic objective is to fight corruption and promote good governance at the state level.
We wish to appreciate you for your determination to fight corruption throughout the country and bring the perpetrators to justice. We particularly commend you for your recent and most assuring statement in the United States that nobody, no matter how highly placed, including your party functionaries, will be spared in your fight against corruption and mismanagement of public funds.
As an organization, we have decided to join you in this very important crusade to expose and rid our nation of the greedy, corrupt and avaricious political class who have caused and will continue to cause socio-economic hard to our nation if left unchecked.
It is against this premise that we have been encouraged to present this petition to intimate to you, the reckless looting of the treasury of Rivers State by one of your close political confidant and former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Honourable Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.
Mr. President, the facts as presented are not cooked or fabricated; they are as true and correct as facts can be and supported by hard evidence. Besides, we have also sworn to an affidavit of verification before the Rivers State High Court.
Therefore, we implore you to carefully read this petition and the supporting documents to enable you understand that our action is not a political witch-hunt but rather actuated by a patriotic zeal to further good governance and accountability by former and present public office holders.
Thus, it will be victories for impunity and corruption should you fail to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate our petition and bring the former Governor and his cohorts to justice.
We say so out of fear that the EFCC, which we have already dispatched our petition to, dated July 28 2015, may deliberately refuse or be constrained by the system to act positively on it.
NOW HERE IS OUR CASE AGAINST ROTIMI CHIBUIKE AMAECHI
Following the end of the tenure of the former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, and in line with our mandate, we decided to conduct some informal inquiries into how some of the assets and finances of the State were managed by the former Governor.
Preliminary findings from our team of investigators revealed glaring cases of corruption, criminal breach of trust, unlawful enrichment and wanton conversion of public funds amounting to over 70 billion naira by Amaechi and some of his functionaries between October 2007 and 28 May 2015, when he held sway as the Governor.
While our investigations revealed several cases of corruption and abuse of office, our petition is predicated on our findings in respect of three major transactions initiated, sanctioned, and directed under the watchful eyes of the former Governor:
FRAUDULENT SALE OF STATE POWER PROJECTS AND CONVERSION OF PROCEEDS AMOUNTING TO N60, 480,000,000.00
A1. The Rivers State Government spent billions of naira to build four gas turbines in Omoku, Trans Amadi, Eleme and Afam to generate electricity and boost socio-economic activities in the State. The turbines were managed by First Independent Power Limited – a State-owned company in which the State Ministry of Finance Incorporated held 299,999,996 out of 300,000,000 fully paid up ordinary shares on behalf of the State Government.
A2. However, for some unexplained reasons these assets were hurriedly and irrationally sold on the impetuous directive and approval of Governor Rotimi Amaechi to NG Power-HPS Limited, for $302, 400,000.00 (that is, Sixty billion naira) only, at the official exchange rate of 1 dollar to 200 naira.
A3. There is evidence that NG Power-HPS Limited paid the full value of the sale to the Rivers State Government through Power Asset Sale Proceeds Account with Access Bank Plc.
A4. However, the proceeds of the sale simply disappeared from the State Government’s account. The Accountant-General of the State and other very senior management staff, including the Directors and Permanent Secretaries of the State ministries of Power and Finance all claimed total ignorance about whereabouts and or justifiable utilization of the money realized from the bogus sale of the State’s priceless power assets under very spurious circumstances actuated by fraudulent intents.
A5. What was evidently criminal in intent and purpose is that between 1st and 8th December 2014 a total of $ USD 105 million that is, 21 billion naira (N21, 000,000,000.00) was curiously and hurriedly transferred from the Power Asset Sale Proceeds Accounts with Access Bank Plc to the accounts of three private companies, all with the same business addresses, as follows:
S/N Transaction Date Beneficiary Company & Address Amount transferred
1 1/12/14 Advante Consulting &Mgt Co 25 Trans Amadi Rd, Port Harcourt $USD 10,000,000.00
2. 1/12/14 Result Import Export Co. 25 Trans Amadi Road PHC $USD 15,000,000.00
3. 1/12/14 Capital Index ltd 25 Trans Amadi Rd PHC $ USD 20,000,000.00
4 1/12/14 Capital Index ltd 25 Trans Amadi Rd PHC $ USD 25,000,000.00
5. 8/12/14 Capital Index ltd 25 Trans Amadi Rd PHC $ USD 15,000,000.00
6. 8/12/14 Capital Index ltd 25 Trans Amadi Rd PHC $ USD 10,000,000.00
7. 8/12/14 Capital Index ltd 25 Trans Amadi Rd PHC $ USD 10,000,000.00
A6. There is thus, a glaring case of stealing, unlawful enrichment and laundering of public funds in relation to the Power Asset Sale transaction, which gives the EFCC a reasonable cause to investigate, prosecute and recover such funds for the State.
UNLAWFUL PAYMENT TO AND FRAUDULENT CONVERSION OF N4, 633,440,000.00 BY CLINORIV SPECIALIST HOSPITALS AND LEISURE LIMITED
B1. The Rivers State Government purportedly entered into a public private partnership arrangement with Clinoriv Specialist Hospitals and Leisure Limited to build a multi-storey Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital in Port Harcourt.
B2. Under the terms of agreement, Rivers State was allocated an equity contribution of N4,633,440,000.00 (Four billion,, six hundred and thirty-three million, four hundred and forty thousand naira) only or the equivalent of $39,200,000.00 (Thirty-nine million, two hundred thousand Dollar) only at the then rate of N188.2 per dollar).
B3. Governor Amaechi, in apparent fulfillment of terms of the partnership, subsequently approved and authorized the payment of the aforesaid sum to Clinoriv Specialist Hospitals and Leisure Limited on the 12th of April 2008 through their bankers, First Bank Plc.
B4. However, sadly, Clinoriv Specialist Hospitals and Leisure Limited completely reneged and defaulted to make its own equity contributions to the project, a situation that completely voided the public private partnership initiative between it and the Rivers State Government.
B5. Curiously, instead of making efforts to recover the money already paid to Clinoriv Specialist Hospitals and Leisure Limited, the former Governor turned 360 degrees to award a fresh contract to Clinotech Limited to construct this same hospital he had earlier contracted with Clinoriv to provide under a PPP arrangement. Funny enough, Clinotech and Clinoriv are one and the same entity as the latter barely transmuted to the former.
B6. Even at that, not even a single stone has been laid at the proposed site of the hospital up till today while Clinoriv has disappeared with the equivalent of Eight billion (N8,000,000,000.00) only, at the official exchange rate of the naira to the dollar.
B7. Yet, Governor Rotimi Amaechi out of criminal negligence or sheer connivance had maintained a studied silence for seven years without making any efforts to retrieve the money he unlawfully paid to Clinoriv for the failed Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital project.
B8. Here also, our findings revealed a glaring case of abuse of office, unlawful enrichment and criminal conspiracy to convert public funds to private use requiring the intervention of the EFCC.
UNLAWFUL ENRICHMENT OF MESSRS COLLECT (NIG) LIMITED WITH PUBLIC FUNDS TO THE TUNE OF ONE BILLION, FIVE HUNDRED AND FIVE MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT NAIRA, SEVENTY-TWO KOBO
C1. The Rivers State Internal Revenue Services (RSIRS) was generating an average sum of N7, 500,000,000.00 as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the Rivers state Government every month, wherein it retains 5% to meet its administrative/overhead cost.
C2. On or about the 22nd of December 2014, the former Governor of the State, Rt. Honourable Rotimi Amaechi, contracted Messrs Collect Solutions (Nig) Ltd. as a Revenue Consultant to support the RSIRS.
C3. By a curious and spurious term of engagement, the Rivers State Government under Governor Amaechi fraudulently conceded to paying a whopping 12% fee to Messrs Collect Solutions (Nig) Limited, for any sum of IGR collected in excess of Two billion, five hundred million naira (N2,500,000,000.00) only, for the State Government.
C4. By a letter dated March 30 2015, the RSIRS protested against the outrageous arrangement/fees donated to the consultant as completely unjustified. The RSIRS questioned the rationale behind reducing the monthly collectable revenue from N7, 500,000,000.000 on the average to N2, 500, 000, 00.00 and the illegal exclusion of the RSIRS from performing its lawful duties under the contract agreement.
C5. In spite of the protest, former Governor Amaechi approved and authorized the payment of a total sum of one billion, five hundred and five million, eight hundred and ninety-five thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight naira, seventy-two kobo (N1, 505,895,698.72) in two installments to Messrs Collect Solutions Nig. Ltd between February and March 2015.
C6. It should be noted that Collect Solutions Nig limited was not qualified to be contracted as a revenue consultant in the first place at the time it was so engaged and in questionable circumstances.
C7. Furthermore, it was obvious that Collect Solutions Nig limited was used as a conduit pipe to defraud the State Government under the guise of consultancy. The entire transaction was just a scam.
PRESUMPTIONS AND A FEW ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION/QUESTIONS FORMER GOVERNOR ROTIMI AMAECHI SHOULD ANSWER.
FRAUDULENT SALE OF STATE POWER PROJECTS AND CONVERSION OF PROCEEDS AMOUNTING TO N60,480,000,000.00
That SALE is about the permanent divestment/complete loss of government interest in a public asset/property, and so it is completely different from Public-Private Partnership.
That under this particular transaction, about 70% out of the 100% ownership interest in the State power assets were sold and money paid by the buyer, before the second phase called partnership could commence (a contract of sales would have been made under the procurement law before another contract, of partnership can be made under the PPP law).
That the sale of the State owned power plants is only subject to Rivers State public procurement law No. 4 of 2008 and not to the State Public Private Partnership Law, this is because the word SALE was expressly use in the under section 52(6) as a means of disposal of public assets, but the word SALE was never mentioned anywhere in the PPP law.
That this transaction of sale is not the same in meaning as public private partnership, hence it cannot be subject to the Rivers State Public-Private Partnership in infrastructural development law of 2009. As the power assets were created through public expenditure/annual budgets as stated in section 52(5)(a) of the State procurement law.
A few issues for determination on the Sale of the Power Assets:
Did the Government of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi comply with section 53(1) of the Rivers State public procurement law which states that ‘Before slating any public property for disposal, the accounting officer (whether acting on his own authority or at the direction of any superior or other authority) in charge of any public property set for disposal shall authorize the preparation of a valuation report for such property by an independent evaluator or such professional with the appropriate competence to carry out the valuation’? If the answer is yes, then the valuation report by an independent evaluation and the procurement proceeding on how the evaluation was hired as a consultant and all other documents as proof of evidence should be produced.
Did the transaction also comply with section 53(3) of the Rivers State public procurement law which states that ‘the disposal of assets shall be timed to take place when the most advantageous returns can be obtained for the assets in order to maximize revenue accruing to the government’? If the answer is yes, then the reports and other documents as proof of evidence should be produced.
Did the transaction also comply with section 53(4) of the Rivers State public procurement law which states that ‘all procuring entities shall distribute responsibilities for the disposal of public property between the procurement unit and the Tenders Board’? If the answer is yes, then the reports and other documents as proof of evidence should be produced.
Did the transaction comply with section 52(3) of the Rivers State public procurement law which states that ‘the open competitive bidding shall be the primary source of receiving offers for the purchase of any public property offered for sale’?
If the then Governor claims to have done these transactions under section 21(4) of the Rivers State public procurement law, then did the Bureau supervise these sales in compliance with section 21(4)? If yes, then the procurement Bureau must show evidence of their supervision through a report and job completion certificate, as no supervision of a project or service can be concluded and project paid for without a detailed project supervision report and a job completion certificate.
A few issues for determination on the award of contract and the disbursement of funds from the Sale of the Power Assets account to Advante, Rezult and Capital companies:
Where these transactions provided for in the Rivers State 2014 appropriation law?
Why would the Rivers State Government go into a contract in foreign currency with Advante Consulting & Mgt. Co., Rezult Import Export Co. and Capital Index Ltd. And paid in foreign currency (US Dollars ($)) when their business address as clearly stated on the Access Bank Plc. Fund Transfer Order Forms No. 02685926, 02685924, 02685923, 02685925, amongst others here attached, is 25 Trans Amadi Road, Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, Nigeria?
How come the three companies above, who were paid from the sale of power assets share the same address, 25 Aba Road, Port Harcourt?
Did the Government of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi comply with section 16 and other relevant sections of the Rivers State public procurement law for procuring and engaging the services of these consultants/contractors and the Bureau’s procurement methods and threshold of application (RSBoPP – Regulation No.1 of 2010) for goods and services?
If the then Governor claims to have done these transactions under section 21(4) of the Rivers State public procurement law, then did the Bureau supervise the services/jobs these consultant or contractors did? If yes, then the Bureau must show evidence of their supervision report and service/job completion certificate, as no supervision of a project or service can be concluded and project paid for without a detail project supervision report and a job completion certificate.
UNLAWFUL PAYMENT TO AND FRAUDULENT CONVERSION OF N4,633,440,000.00 BY CLINORIV SPECIALIST HOSPITALS AND LEISURE LIMITED.
That Clinotech and the then Rivers State Government came together under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with equity contributions, to form CLINORIV Specialist Hospitals And Leisure Ltd.
That the $39,200,000.00 (N4,633,440,000.00) paid to CLINORIV Specialist Hospitals and Leisure Ltd. by the Rivers State Government, through First Bank of Nigeria, via a transfer order dated 12th April, 2008.
That by the equity contribution agreement, the then Rivers State Government must have appointed their own representatives to serve in the management and administration of the $39,200,000.00 (N4,633,440,000.00) paid to the CLINORIV Dollar and Naira accounts respectively, for the execution of the project. If this was not done, then why?
That the then Rivers State Government full payment of its equity contribution without Clinotech’s counterpart equity contribution is very worrisome, and that until date, the project (Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital) for which the money was paid for is yet to commence.
That as at 12th April, 2008 when the money was paid into the CLINORIV account, neither the Rivers State Public Procurement law which was signed into law on 3rd of May 2008, nor Rivers State Public-Private Partnership in Infrastructure Development law which was signed into law on the 20th of October 2009 were in existence, however, this transaction is still subject to other laws, regulations and standards in Nigeria.
A few issues for determination on the payment:
Was this transaction provided for in the Rivers State appropriation law of 2008?
Why was the money not used for the building of the Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital (the particular and very reason for which it was paid/release by the then Rivers State Government)?
Who were the managers of the $39,200,000.00 (N4,633,440,000.00) in the CLINORIV and what was the money used for?
How were monies from the CLINORIV Dollar account No. 2902900729390 and Naira account No. 2902030007351 distributed? Who were the beneficiaries and for what purpose?
What legal steps did the then Government take to ensure that the Hospital was built or the money recovered, if there was no conspiracy to defraud the State?
UNLAWFUL ENRICHMENT OF MESSRS COLLECT (NIG) LIMITED WITH PUBLIC FUNDS TO THE TUNE OF ONE BILLION, FIVE HUNDRED AND FIVE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT NAIRA, SEVENTY-TWO KOBO
That the Rivers State Public Procurement Law was in full force and is still in force as at the time this contract was awarded.
That this consultancy services contract/agreement is 100% subject to the State Public Procurement Law only and cannot under any guise, be said to come under the Rivers State PPP law.
That this transaction must have been approved by a tender board.
The company/consultant Collect Solutions (Nig.) Ltd. Had never done any business elsewhere according to the letter from the Executive Chairman of the Rivers State Internal Revenue Services (RIRS) dated March 30, 2015 and addressed to the then commissioner for Finance.
On page 4 of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Rivers State Government and the revenue consultant (Collect Solutions) it was observed that 25 Trans Amadi Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was the official address of the consultant for receiving all notices and other communications from the Rivers State Government, the same address quoted and used by the three companies (Avante, Result and Capital) who received millions of Dollar from the sold gas turbine/power asset account.
The Rivers state Board of Internal Revenue Service Law N0 12 of 2012 granted the Board administrative and financial autonomy. in view of this autonomy, can the Commissioner of Finance under any guise go into contract with Collect Solutions Limited and also cede the functions of the Board to Collect Solutions Limited without the knowledge and consent of a Board that is administratively and financially autonomous by Law? is it not an abuse of powers as the Procurement was done behind the Board in 2014 and was only imposed by the Governor, through the Commissioner of Finance via a Letter in 2014 in the face of a protest by the Revenue Board?
A few issues for determination on the payment.
Was this transaction provided for in either the Ministry of Finance or the State Board of Internal Revenue Service 2015 appropriation law?
Why should the former Governor reduce the threshold of an average of N7.5 billion that was been generated by the State Revenue Board, to a mere N2.5 billion as target for the consultant who was supposed to come and add value by increasing the revenue of the State from N7.5 billion before earning any commission from the excess of the N7.5 billion, instead of earning commission from what the board was already generating?
Which award such a multi-million Naira revenue generation contract to a company that has neither experience nor antecedent in revenue generation?
Which tenders board approved this contract, what were the evaluation criteria and which accounting officer was in charge of this transaction?
Did the Government of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi comply with section 16 and other relevant sections of the Rivers State public procurement law for procuring and engaging the services of this consultant and the Bureau’s procurement methods and threshold of application (RSBoPP – Regulation No.1 of 2010) for consultancy services?
If the then Governor claims to have done these transactions under section 21(4) of the Rivers State public procurement law, then did the Bureau supervise the services/jobs this consultant? If yes, then the Bureau must show evidence of their supervision report and service/job completion certificate, as no supervision of a project or service can be concluded and project paid for without a detail project supervision report and a job completion certificate.
How come the three companies who benefitted from the proceeds of the sale of the State power asset account in foreign currency (between 1st of December, 2014) share and maintain the same business address (25 Trans Amadi Road, Port Harcourt) with Collect Solutions (the revenue consultant whose contract/Memorandum of Agreement was made on the 22nd of December, 2014)? Will it not be proper to remove the veil/unveil the true owners/Directors of Avante Consulting & Mgt. Ltd., Rezult Import Export Co., Capital Index Ltd. and Collect Solutions (Nig.) Ltd?
Clearly, the Rivers State Government incurred heavy financial losses amounting to over 70 billion naira from the afore-mentioned criminal transactions. Above all, the conduct, actions or inactions of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and his functionaries in each and every of these transactions were unlawful and done intently for CORRUPT and CRIMINAL purposes.
On the strength of the above, we respectfully request Mr. President to consider and:
(i) Direct the EFCC to investigate and prosecute Rt. Hon. RotimiAmaechi and all other State functionaries and companies involved in or connected with the corruption, criminal breach of trust, unlawful enrichment, and criminal diversion and conversion of public funds in relation to the above-mentioned and other transactions;
(ii) Recover all monies illegally paid out to third parties from these transactions and return same to the coffers of the Rivers State Government.
All relevant documents relating to the petition are herewith attached.
Thank you for acting promptly on this open letter.
Please be assured of our highest respect and loyalty to your government.
Attached herewith are annexures to the petition:
Annexure N0 i-v(Issues
Annexure N0 a,b,c.d, and others page 1-70
For: Integrity Group
Comrade Livingstone Wechie
THE INTEGRITY GROUP
KM 11 ELEME JUNCTION INTERCHANGE
PORT HARCOURT – ABA EXPRESS WAY
ELELENWO – RIVERS STATE
Our ref: IG/AC/VOL.V/082
DISCLAIMER : Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of ElombahNews!
Would you like to be receiving ALL ElombahNews links ‘On The Go’ on WhatsApp Or Telegram? If yes, join us here on WhatsApp or Telegram, or provide us your Telephone number via firstname.lastname@example.org or sms/inbox +2349050382526 and you are good to go!
DOWNLOAD ElombahNews mobile app here
Send eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles to email@example.com; follow us on twitter @ElombahNews; like our Facebook page ElombahNews