There are indications that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is close to arresting Peter Odili, the former governor of Rivers State. A medical doctor before he assumed the governorship, Odili is widely considered one of Nigeria’s most corrupt public officials over the last eight years.
Odili, who was also one of the closest confidantes of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, is being investigated for bilking billions of naira from his state’s coffers and money laundering.
Last Tuesday, agents of the EFCC arrested and detained Okey Ezenwa, Odili’s brother-in-law considered one of the former governor’s main runners and looting tools. He was released two days later after the EFCC confiscated his international passport.
Ezenwa is suspected to be a major front for the former governor in moving looted cash out of Nigeria. His seized international passport is said to contain myriads of visas to different countries around the world. The visas have provided a clue as to where Peter Odili had businesses and bank accounts outside the shores of Nigeria.
Okey Ezenwa worked in conjunction with a Port Harcourt-based lawyer Lucius Nwosu (SAN). Both men are said to be involved in running an oil company on behalf of Peter Odili that was used in fleecing Rivers State of $10 million.
Investigators have also discovered that Peter Odili bought a helicopter for his failed presidential campaign using his son-in-law, Patrick Onwuka, as a front for the N3.1 billion transaction.
In a related development, the EFCC last week also arrested Captain Chris Najomo, a pilot and managing director of Capital Airlines Limited. Captain Najomo was detained for four days last week in connection with money laundering investigations involving Lucky Igbinedion, the former governor of Edo State.
Najomo was quizzed over his business relationship with the former governor, who Saharareporters reported is currently on the run. Saharareporters had earlier reported that Lucky Igbinedion owns Capital Airlines.
Saharareporters also discovered that 35 blocks of apartments in South Africa belonging to the former governor are about to be sold by one of his brothers, Bright Igbinedion. Lucky Igbinedion also owns a huge mansion in Abuja said to be the most expensive property in Abuja, it is fitted with an ultra modern theatre capable of accommodation 100 guests.
According to our authoritative source, the latest spate of arrests by the EFCC signals the commission’s preparedness to tighten the noose around Odili and Igbinedion.
In another development, the troubles of Chief James Ibori seem to be escalating over his legendary corruption and outright looting of Delta State resources. Saharareporters received information over the week that the embattled former governor is being investigated for buying the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON). The company was sold by the Bureau of Public Enterprises in 2005 for N20.5 billion to a company known as "O'Secul limited". Preliminary investigations shows that the company belongs to the former Delta State governor.