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Obasanjo Backs Alamieyeseigha’s Arrest: Fresh facts emerge on money laundering

Posted by By Tokunbo Adedoja on 2005/09/18 | Views: 3711 |

Obasanjo Backs Alamieyeseigha’s Arrest: Fresh facts emerge on money laundering


President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said that the arrest of Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, on Thursday in London by British Police, over allegations of money laundering, is an indication that the anti-corruption measures of his administration are working.

President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said that the arrest of Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, on Thursday in London by British Police, over allegations of money laundering,  is an indication that the anti-corruption measures of his administration are working.


This is coming on the heels of the information that one of the Governor's Commis-sioners may have attempted last week to move on his behalf and from government coffers the sum of two million Euro to Germany.


In his first official reaction to the arrest of the governor,  Obasanjo while fielding questions from Cable News Network (CNN) Jonathan Mann on issues of corruption in the country,   said the development has shown that there is no more sacred cow as far as the war against corruption was concerned.


The President, who noted that in the history of the country, no such highly placed serving government official had been nabbed for corruption, said the arrest of the Governor has given a clear message to the nation's friends that there would no longer be any safe haven for corrupt public officials.


His words: "The fact that the Police arrested this man (Alamieyeseigha), no matter his position, is an indication that our anti-corruption measures are working. In the history of Nigeria, up till the life of this administration, nobody so highly placed has been arrested and being charged. Is it because they haven't committed an offence?"


The President added that what is going on is because "we are leading and we are telling the world that this is what we are doing. Like the example that you have mentioned. I was accused and I said, well, I am open for investigation. Go ahead. Now, if I do that, all our friends will know that nobody, no sacred cow. And that is what has happened to him and that is what is happening".


In an apparent reference to allegations of corruption leveled against him and his presidency by Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State, Obasanjo said there is an agency charged with the responsibility of handling issues of corruption  and that he has offered himself for probe adding that he has also shown that there is nobody that cannot be investigated.


The President also reacted to allegations of corruption against  members of his family maintaining that anybody who has discovered where any loot traceable to him is kept should make it public.


Alamieyeseigha was arrested on Thursday afternoon in London on his way from Germany, where he had gone for surgery, by British officers from the Specialist and Economic Crime Unit of the London Metropolitan Police.
 
THISDAY checks yesterday revealed that Alamieyeseigha, who was on the trail of EFCC attempted last week, through one of his Commissioners, to move two Million Euro to Germany where he was before he left for London. The bank through which the transfer was to be effected has been in trouble lately over allegations of laundering money for political office holders.


A government source also disclosed last night that the London Police has already found two million pounds in one of his accounts in a London bank while sacks containing an undisclosed amount of foreign currency in different denominations were also found upon the search of his residence.


There were also reports that his arrest may not have been unconnected to the earlier interrogation of a lady who was said to have tried to transfer between Ł10 million to Ł20 million from an account with the HSBC in London.


The governor, who is currently on conditional bail has, however, attributed his travails to the presidency claiming to have been told by officers who arrested him that they "acted on a tip-off from Abuja".


"I  don't have to contact  the Presidency,  the people  here told  me that they (presidency) are behind it. They said the tip was given by Abuja. All I would say is that  God bless them. I know that they are involved. I leave them in the hands of God", Alamieyeseigha said in an exclusive interview with THISDAY from his London home.


While he however, hinged his return to the country on his health, the Scotland Yard spokesperson, Julie Prinacp in an exclusive interview with THISDAY said he cannot return to Nigeria until his case has been determined. He has a date with the London Police on November 15

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.