Odili's Loot: Plateau Deputy Governor, Pauline Tellen and Mrs. Agagu Implicated
The investigation of Peter Odili undertaken by the EFCC has revealed further scams. Saharareporters has learnt that the current deputy governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Pauline K. Tellen, was found to have received N400 million from Peter Odili while he was the governor of Rivers State between 1999 and 2007.
Mrs. Tellen is yet to be interrogated or invited by EFCC officials due to her closeness to Mrs. Farida Waziri, the chairman of the EFCC. The investigations also revealed that Mrs. Olufunke Agagu, the wife of the outgoing Ondo State governor, was in receipt of N20 million from Odili for reasons that were not disclosed by the investigators.
Sources told SaharaReporters that Mrs. Waziri is reluctant to push Peter Odili's case further because revelations from Rivers State accounts implicate an assortment of professionals, including many journalists who are currently on her side. It would be recalled that last August, SaharaReporters reported Mrs. Waziri's secret meeting with owners and editors of major news media outlets in Lagos. A former Concord newspapers editor, Mr. Segun Bababtope, who is now a PR consultant to the EFCC, arranged the meeting. Among the attendees was the publisher of Vanguard newspaper, Sam Amuka; Mr. Ted Iwere of the Daily Independent; Newswatch's Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohamed; Emeka Izeze of The Guardian. Mrs. Waziri has an expanded Public Relations budget of N30 million.
In August, she restrained EFCC investigators from investigating a serving Senator, Smart Adeyemi who reportedly assisted Odili in looting Rivers State.
A legal analyst told SaharaReporters that upon a proper analysis of the perpetual injunction granted Odili by a federal high court judge stopping his arrest and investigations, it has been discovered that the order did not prevent the EFCC from charging Odili to court for abuse of office and corruption, nor preclude the investigation and trial of individuals who connived, conspired and collaborated with Odili in the grand looting of the Rivers State treasury when he was the governor.
Last Monday, SaharaReporters reported that the EFCC was interrogating Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of African Independent Television over a N3 billion "gift" traced to his account in the Rivers State investigations. It also sent a letter of invitation to Nduka Obaigbena, the publisher of ThisDay newspapers, for his possible involvement in the disappearance of N400 million of Rivers State funds.
Upon receiving the invitation, Obaigbena was said to have skipped town. Obaigbena later called SaharaReporters from Dakar, Senegal where he claimed he was attending a conference of African media practitioners, he feigned ignorance of any invitation from the EFCC and also denied that he was involved in the looting of Rivers state treasury, though he admitted to us that he had some business dealings with the Rivers State government that were "legitimate".
EFCC sources told SahaReporters that Obaigbena is yet to report to the EFCC to honor the invitation.