Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

Alleged Illegal Withdraw Of N118bn: Lawyer Calls For Wike, Others’ Probe

Barr. Dania A. Tony

Alleged Illegal Withdraw Of N118bn: Lawyer Calls For Wike, Others’ Probe

With the recent discovery of how some officials of Rivers State government alleged withdrew about N118 billion within three years, a Nigeria lawyer, Chief Dania Abdullahi Tony, has called for the arrested and prosecution of the named officials.

It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) sometimes last week published in all Nigerian media a new story captioned ‘How Rivers officials Withdrew N118bn Cash’.

EFCC also reported the it has requested for the release of three Rivers State government officials implicated in the   alleged illegal withdrawal of N118 billion public funds, for interrogation.

The N118 billion cash withdrawals were said to have be made between 2015 and 2018.

Their action according to the EFCC, is to be a contravention of the Money Laundering Act. And that he withdrawals were beyond the threshold set for cash transactions in the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011

EFCC had alleged the cash was allegedly withdrawn by the Director of Finance, Government House, Fubara Siminalayei, Tonye Uranta, and Harisonba Princewill over the counter in suspicious manner.

It also accused the Rivers State Government of shielding the three officials from reporting to the EFCC for interrogation. Stating that the state government cites a perpetual injunction obtained in 2007 barring the EFCC from probing its accounts.

The huge cash payments were made from the Government House account and the Federation Account Allocation remittances account domiciled in Zenith Bank.

Reacting to the alleged infractions, a Nigeria lawyer, Chief Dania Abdullahi Tony, while commending the EFCC for the thoroughly done job, equally called for immediate arrest and prosecution of the three officials named in the alleged illegal withdrawal.

Chief Dania also called for full  investigation on the State Governor, Mr. Nyenson Wike, whim he said can not claim ignorance of the alleged financial impropriety.

The lawyer, despite commending EFCC on alleged misdeeds by the Rivers State government officials, also condemned the antigraft agency on it recent donation of some forfeited buildings to Lagos State government as COVID-19 Isolation Centre.

He described such donations as ultravire, illegal and unconstitutional. Adding that he will heads to court to challenge the act.

Parts of Chief Dunia’s statements on the two issues reads: “I commends EFCC for this move, the officials of Rivers State must be arrested  and prosecuted. This also showed that circumstantial evidence that the Governor of State is involved in this. There is no way the Commissioner of Finance can personally go to the Bank and withdrew over N100 billion cash on the counter, the Governor must have approved and consented to it.

“By the way, the Commissioner served during the first term of the Governor and he’s with the Governor now, that means that he’s a ‘good boy’. 

“So, I commends the EFCC for the investigation and wants them to sustain it.

“But without prejudice to that, when the EFCC donated properties recovered from a suspect  or defendant through court in course of carrying out their statutory duty, which was donated to the Lagos State government as isolation Center for COVID-19 patients.

“This is illegal, ultra-vire and beyond its power to so and I will prove this by going to court.

“However, I still commend the EFCC for their investigation on Rivers State. Am commending them because am an objective critic. I commends when necessary to commend and when its necessary to criticizes, I criticized”.