Saharareporters, New York
Chief Bode George has fled Nigeria over a report carried by Saharareporters that he was being targeted for prosecution by the EFCC.
The once powerful and loquacious Peoples Democratic Party chieftain left Nigeria a few weeks ago after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) sent an officer to give testimony against him in a libel case involving Chief George and The News magazine.
The chilling testimony given by the EFCC officers made him develop cold feet over his security since Obasanjo was no longer in power to provide cover.
Former president Obasanjo was the first to raise alarm over George’s disappearance from Nigeria as he told close friends and confidants that he had not seen or heard from him for a period of two weeks.
Obasanjo had confided in one of his visitors from the UK that George was the only PDP chieftain who came around to visit frequently in Abeokuta and at his Otta farm where the former president lives in virtual isolation, abandoned by friends and political associates.
As earlier reported by Saharareporters, the new EFCC leadership had penciled George down as one of its early targets as they began reviewing files of former corrupt government and party functionaries indicted by the EFCC for corruption.
A source told our reporters saying, “It was the calculation of Mrs. Farida Waziri that if former allies of Obasanjo were hounded, arrested and detained with the blessing of magistrate court orders, the Nigerian public will applaud her as an “anti-corruption amazon” whereas it was all designed to deflect attention from corrupts former governors who recruited her to man the EFCC”.
Saharareporters can reveal that Chief George was in the US living with one of his concubines, named “June George” in the Bowie area of the state of Maryland near Washington DC.
However, he left the US last Saturday on a flight to London, UK where he will be hibernating for a while, according to impeccable sources knowledgeable about his movements.
George had enjoyed virtual immunity from prosecution under former president Obasanjo. Saharareporters had reported extensively on his corrupt activities while he was the chairman of the board of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) between 2001 and 2003. A committee set up by the former president discovered that the Chief George led NPA board awarded, at least, 24, 252 contracts within the period under scrutiny in different currency denominations.
About N45 billion was spent in contract awards; another $237 million and 24 million British pounds sterling went down the drain. The committee also discovered the misappropriation of DM 1,462 million (German Deutch Marks) and another 148 million Euros. Another discovery revealed that a sum of SEK 4.1 million (Swedish Kronas) was stolen by Chief George and other board members of the NPA during the period under investigation by the committee.
Despite an indictment by two committees set up by Obasanjo, and the revelation of massive corruption, he was never arrested or prosecuted for corruption.