Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Hustlers on the run
Former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion, who is listed amongst the second batch of former governors to be arrested and tried for corruption, has apparently fled Nigeria. Igbinedion was sighted in London last Sunday, July 15, where he watched a live football match with some of his colleagues including former Governor Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom. Our source indicated that the ex-governor of Edo State has chosen to keep away from Nigeria to avoid his certain arrest to answer to a lengthy corruption rap sheet. He now lives in his opulent “Kenwood mansion” in London.
Also former Governor Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State has opted to settle in Barbados and watch the corruption trials of some of his colleagues who have been charged to court. Mr. Victor Attah and his wife were recently sighted at the highbrow Cromwell Hospital in London where his wife was being treated.
Sources told Saharareporters that the former Akwa Ibom governor, fingered by the EFCC as one of the wanted corrupt ex-governors, doesn’t plan to return to Nigeria anytime soon unless extradited by the EFCC. Attah, whose wife was on admission at Cromwell, recently moved her out of the hospital and they made a trip to Barbados—his wife's home country. The ex-governor’s wife is believed to be suffering from a kidney ailment similar to that of Umar Musa Yar’Adua.
Our sources revealed that Victor Attah owns a five-star hotel in Barbados. He reportedly retrieved his passport by telling EFCC officials that he needed to take his wife out of Nigeria for medical treatment.
Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, mired himself in corruption allegations, recently led a delegation to plead with Yar’Adua to spare serving and ex-governors the humiliation of answering for their corrupt acts. Saharareporters sources said that Igbinedion and Attah may not return to Nigeria unless Saraki’s intervention yields them the necessary reprieve from trial. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, facing rising demands for his own trial, is reportedly working on Yar’Adua and EFCC’s Nuhu Ribadu to soft pedal on trying some of the ex-governors—especially those close to Obasanjo.