SaharaReporters, New York
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today detained the "wanted" Chief of Staff to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Nyeso Wike, and the Secretary to the Rivers State government, Magnus Abbe.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the troubled chief of staff and several government officials led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi would be visiting the EFCC headquarters to seek a "political solution" to the lingering corruption crisis that had the EFCC freezing two accounts belonging to the state government and another individual account owned by Mr. Wike. The governor arrived Abuja yesterday and engaged in intensive discussions to "settle" the case with the EFCC.
Our sources in Abuja said the governor and the commissioner of finance reportedly “travelled out of Nigeria” as soon as it was clear that a proposed "political solution" had been bungled by our reports exposing the deal. Governor Amaechi left Abuja to London early this morning.
Wike was taken into custody when he made an appearance at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja accompanied by the SSG, Mr. Abbe. EFCC sources said their investigators have found that Wike owns a huge building in Port Harcourt worth N150 million. He reportedly told investigators at first that he was building the mansion. However, he later claimed the building was a government "staff quarters" being built on behalf of the Rivers State government on the instructions of Governor Amaechi. He reportedly disclosed that all the transactions were done using cash taken out of the state accounts with Zenith Bank of Nigeria in Port Harcourt.
EFCC investigations have also found that a certain individual simply named "Bright" made a one time cash deposit of N100 million into Mr. Wike's personal account at Zenith Bank. Mr. Wike now claims "Bright" was his former aide while he was the chairman of Obio-Akpor Local government area of Rivers State.
Meanwhile EFCC investigators said Governor Rotimi Amaechi is now being sought to make clarifications over claims by Wike that he made N150 million available to him to build a "staff quarters" on behalf of the state government in Port Harcourt.
Amaechi left Abuja Nigeria en route to London in company of the commissioner of finance and the state accountant general apparently to escape the imminent arrest of the officials. An EFCC source told our correspondent “SaharaReporters blew the cover on a deal that would have led to the demise of the investigation.”
Both Wike and Abbe are expected to remain in EFCC custody until they are charged for corruption, likely with other state officials yet to be picked up.