The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is to investigate the withdrawal of over N11bn from the Rivers State Government’s account between October, 2015 and February, 2016 under the present administration of Governor Nyesom Wike.
The money was allegedly withdrawn from the Rivers State Government’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria by the Director of Finance and Administration of the state’s Government House, Mr. Kingsely Fubara, in cash.
The anti-graft agency is also to probe the transfer of another sum of N1.5bn from the state’s account with the CBN to the Zenith Bank Plc account that belongs to one Mr. Samuel Anya “on or about January 27, 2016.”
An EFCC source confirmed to The PUNCH that the anti-graft agency received the directive to probe what had been described as “suspicious withdrawals” from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, sometimes in March this year.
A document obtained from the source shows the alleged withdrawal of about N5.1bn by Fubara from the government’s account between October and December, 2015 in 10 tranches.
The document indicated that Fubara commenced the alleged suspicious withdrawals with N1bn on October 15, 2015, and followed by another N1bn six days later on October 21, 2015.
He was also said to have withdrawn N269m from the account on November 2, 2015; N300m on November 3, 2015, and N500m on November 4, 2015.
In December 2015, three of such withdrawals also took place with N200m withdrawn from the account on December 12; N240m on December 22 and N460m on December 23.
According to the document, Fubara also allegedly withdrew N6.1bn from the same Rivers State’s account between January 5, 2016 and February 9, 2016 in 11 tranches.
Five of the withdrawals, which took place in January, 2016, in the following order: N849.5m withdrawn on January 5, 2016; N300m on January 7, 2016; N250m on January 14, 2016; N750m on January 15, 2016, and N200m on January 22, 2016.
The rest of the six withdrawals in February, 2016, were N500m on February 1; N600m on February 2; N300m on February 4; N200m on February 5; N1bn on February 8; and N1.2bn on February 9.
Indicating the various sums of money was in cash withdrawal, the document stated that the money was “delivered and received by Mr. Fubara.”
The source added, “We were also asked to investigate the withdrawal of N1.5bn on or about January 27, 2016, by one Mr. Samuel Anya of 69B Forces Avenue, old GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, from the state’s account with CBN through the transfer of the money to his account 0248922015 with Zenith Bank.”
The phone number Anya was said to have left with the bank could not be reached on Wednesday and Thursday as it was switched off.
But the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George, described the claim by the EFCC as another bizarre fabrication.
Describing the move by the AGF as a national embarrassment, Tam-George pointed out that there seemed to be no end to the “total” erosion of the commission’s credibility as an institution of the country.
He said, “It is clear that the EFCC is now a fully integrated unit of the All Progressives Congress with the sole mandate of hunting down opposition politicians and critics of the Federal Government.
“When will this embarrassing media roulette they call anti-corruption fight come to an end?”
All attempts to speak with the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as his phone indicated that it was switched off while a text message sent to his phone had not been responded to as of the time of filing this report on Thursday.