Friday, July 13, 2007
EFCC arraigns 3 Governors
The EFCC earlier today charged three ex-governors for money laundering and corruption, the fourth accused person, ex-governor Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State is believed to have escaped from Nigeria overnight.
The former governors are among the 15 ex-state executives who were invited by the EFCC to appear over allegations of money laundering and corruption, however Orji Uzor Kalu, whose mother, Eunice Kalu was also declared wanted did not honor the invitation by the EFCC claiming that he already obtained a court order from an Abia State High Court barring the EFCC from arresting or prosecuting him for corruption.
Shortly after, he traveled to the US and then the UK from where he flew to Abuja, Nigeria to participate in discussions with the ruling party in talks over the formation of a "Government of National Unity". He never made it past the airport as he was arrested at the airport and detained by EFCC operatives.
Two others, Joshua Dariye of Plateau State and Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State were also docked by the EFCC.
A source told Saharareporters that the former governor of Taraba, Reverend Jolly Nyame was not charged today because he agreed to refund N50 billion to the EFCC. Also the former governor of Enugu State and current federal Senator, Chimaroke Nnamani was said to have escaped from Nigeria overnight. He was interrogated by the EFCC yesterday but was allowed to go back home.
The three governors were brought before a Federal High Court judge at the Federal High Court complex Wuse II, Abuja.
Former governor of Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu did not disembark from the Peugeot salon car that brought him to the court, his lawyers however met with him inside the car before he was driven back to the EFCC headquarters. The judge after taking their plea asked that they be remanded in prison custody, while adjourning the case till next week Monday and Tuesday respectfully.
The EFCC is expected to make further arrest and charge more ex-governors to court next week. Saharareporters learns that barring last minute hitches or official intervention, the former governors of Rivers State, Peter Odili, Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State, Zamfara State ex-governor and current Senator Sanni Ahmed Yerima and former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori are expected to be pulled in for trial by the EFCC.
Meanwhile, former governor of Ekiti State and fugitive, Mr. Ayodele Fayose might have abandoned his intended trip to Nigeria due to the recent developments at the EFCC, the ex-governor who also faces possible murder charges gave indications last week that he will be returning to Nigeria after a Lagos based High Court granted him a curious injunction, but in view of the recent clampdown on his colleagues, Mr. Fayose might have shelved his intended return.