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118 BILLION NAIRA ALLEGED FRAUD: Rivers State Gov., Nyesom Wike Faces Mass Action As Group Threaten To Shut Down State Over Missing Monies.

Nyesom Wike.
Sometimes in August 2018, the news made rounds that 117 Billion Naira of Rivers money was withrawn across the Zenith Bank Counter with a space of three years according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC who stated that, “In all, we are investigating cash withdrawals totaling N117bn from the Rivers State accounts in the last three years.

The manner the money was withdrawn was suspicious as a top official of the EFCC, said the “curious” withdrawals violated the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, citing that some of the withdrawals, which he said were curious were made with 45 different cheques issued in the name of one person on June 8, 2015.

Again on Sunday May 24, 2020 according to reports, another disturbing headline resurfaced on how Rivers officials withdrew N118b in cash by the Director of Finance, Government House, Fubara Siminalayei, Tonye Uranta, and Harisonba Princewill over the counter in suspicious manners.

One of the officials allegedly withdrew over N70billion in cash, about 129 times over a period of three years with reports saying that the Rivers State Government is alleged to be shielding the relevant officials from reporting to the EFCC for interrogation.
NDDGG members.
The state government cites a perpetual injunction obtained in 2007 barring the EFCC from probing its accounts, as it was gathered that the cash withdrawals were made between 2015 and 2018 with Siminalayei alone allegedly collecting over N70billion over the counter about 35 times in 2016 and 94 times in 2017.

The same suspect allegedly withdrew N16.297billion from the bank in cash in 2015.

In all of these transactions, the bank involved is alleged to have hugely profited over five billion Naira in service charges at the expense of Rivers State and the people.

It is not enough to claim media trial or political witchunt against the EFCC over these whooping sums of Rivers monies. The Rivers state government owes a duty of public trust to explain to Rivers people and publish bit by bit every detail of these transactions in the spirit of transparency and the Freedom of Information Act.

But the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that no official of the Rivers State Government will appear before the EFCC over what he called politically-motivated investigations until the commission approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the 2007 judgment barring the commission from investigating the state.

Therefore, the Network of Defense of Democracy and Good Governance NDDGG further states that while the Rivers state government is engaging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC with all of its defense and justifications, they are not imuned from accounting to the People of Rivers state for whom they hold these funds on trust. Hence, we will not allow our own government to continue to embarrass us as a people with very scandalizing reports that portray us in bad light.

NDDGG states that in keeping with our obligation to ensure probity in public office and finances, we issue a seven days ultimatum to the Rivers State Government to publish in full details all that pertain to these transactions or we would lead a peaceful campaign and protest to ensure that justice is served.

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