No Rivers official will appear before EFCC, says Wike as anti-graft agency arrests Zenith Bank MD over Rivers transaction
Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says no official of the state government will appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Wike spoke after EFCC arrested and grilled Peter Amangbo, managing director of Zenith Bank, over alleged N117 billion transaction by the state government in the past three years.
The anti-graft agency is also seeking to quiz four officials of the state who were central to the withdrawals.
But accusing the commission of “politically motivated” investigations, Wike said until the EFCC approaches the court of appeal to set aside the 2007 judgment barring the commission from investigating the state, his officials would not honour its summons.
An EFCC detective had narrated how the withdrawals were made.
“The bulk of the money was collected by one official over the counter with as many as 45 to 50 cheques issued in one day,” he said.
“The records retrieved showed that on June 8, 2015, about N450million was cashed over the counter through 45 cheques with each cheque worth N10million,” he said.
“The same thing was done on June 9, 2015 when N500million was cashed in bit of N10million. There is no record of what the cash was used for.
“There is a case of money laundering which we cannot gloss over. And it is good that the MD of Zenith Bank has admitted that the bank did not report the suspicion transactions. Our detectives are making progress and the nation will soon be briefed on the findings of the EFCC.”
Wike said the “media trial” by the EFCC will amount to nothing, pointing out that the Rivers was aware of the move before it even started.
“We are not afraid of their probe and they have no power to probe us. No government official will appear before the EFCC until they set aside the court judgment of Rivers state government against them in 2007. We cannot be intimidated,” he said in a statement issued on his behalf by Simeon Nwakaudu, his spokesman.
“They filed for leave to appeal the judgment at the court of appeal. Until they set aside the judgment, we will not come. We are aware of their tricks. They should not bother engaging in media trial because it will not work. This is mere political witch-hunt.
“They must obey the of law. We have filed another action against the EFCC. Because they have been served, they are telling the Press that they have started investigating Rivers state government.
“This media war by the EFCC will not work. We stand on the rule of law.”