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Contractor arrested over Alamieyeseigha’s escape

Posted by Yusuf Alli, Soni Daniel and Bisi Olaniyi on 2005/12/04 | Views: 568 |

Contractor arrested over Alamieyeseigha’s escape


A contractor, Mr. Yahaya Mohammed, was on Sunday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly collecting £500,000 to plot and aid Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s escape from London, through Cote d’Ivoire.

A contractor, Mr. Yahaya Mohammed, was on Sunday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly collecting £500,000 to plot and aid Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s escape from London, through Cote d’Ivoire.

Alamieyeseigha was flown into Nigeria on November 20, 2005 under circumstances that the governor described as “a mystery.”

Investigations by the EFCC, since the governor’s escape, however, suggest that he may have used a well-heeled plan that exploited domestic security lapses and loopholes in his bail conditions.

A source in the EFCC said Mohammed, a friend of the embattled Governor of Bayelsa State, executed the plum contract with a Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Tunde Ayeni.

Ayeni had earlier been arrested by the EFCC.

Our source added, “It has been discovered that about £500,000 was paid to Mohammed and Ayeni as service charge for the escape.

“Also $12,000 was paid to Kings Air as air fare from Cote d’Ivoire to Lagos and another $7,000 from Lagos to Port Harcourt.”

He said investigations were still in progress on how the governor left London.

As at press time, Ayeni’s chambers at 13, Adekunle Fajuyi Street, GRA, Ikeja, had been locked up by the EFCC.

With the latest development, four suspects are now being quizzed over the escape.

On Wednesday, the operatives raided Kings Air at the Murtala Mohammed Airport where two pilots of the airline, Captains Mobee Yinka and Toyin, were arrested.

In spite of the ongoing probe of how the governor fled London, the impeachment proceedings against him appeared to be on course.

The state’s Chief Judge, Justice Emmanuel Igoniwari, is expected to inaugurate the panel to investigate the allegations of misconduct against the governor on Monday (today).

The Chief Registrar of the state judiciary, Mr. Ineikade Eradiri, declined to disclose the names of the panel members.

Eradiri, who confirmed the receipt of the House of Assembly’s resolution last Thursday, said the members would be made public on Monday.

Alamieyeseigha, has dismissed the allegations against him as frivolous and an attempt by the members of the House of Assembly to tarnish his image.

He said the members had no right to probe him since they did not meet the constitutional requirement to carry out such a task.

The governor, in a letter dated December 2, 2005, alleged that the lawmakers breached the law by staying in Lagos to initiate impeachment proceedings against him.

He said that apart from not forming a quorum, the Assembly relied on a warped report by the EFCC.

He said, “The entire resolution passed by the House of Assembly authorising investigation into the allegation of gross misconduct is illegal and unconstitutional as only 15 members of the house passed the resolution and the purported suspension of four of its members on that date cannot cure the defect.

“The several allegations are products of misinformation, ignorance and a clear display of official high-handedness.”

He denied ever using his position to enrich his wife and children as claimed by the EFCC, saying that the commission was actuated by malice.

He also denied lying to the Code of Conduct Bureau in the declaration he made upon his election as the governor of Bayelsa State.

On the allegation that he acquired shares in many banks and companies, the governor declared that it was the state government that authorised the purchase of the firms to boost its internationally generated revenue.

He said that as the chief executive of the state he enjoyed the privilege to conduct business on behalf of the state within and outside Nigeria and that he did not breach any law in acting in that capacity.

Alamieyeseigha alleged that the EFCC acted in bad faith by listing enterprises that were not owned by him as his property.

Such property include a refinery in Ecuador, a property at 12 Adeyemi Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, Bayelsa State Governor’s Lodge, Ira Dan Musa Street, Abuja, plot 1372-1374 Cadastral A7, Wuse, Abuja, Continental Bank Building, Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, some property in London and N1 billion shares in Bond Bank.

He urged the seven-man panel to dismiss the allegations of gross misconduct against him.

The reply by Alamieyeseigha to the allegations is an indication that he has acknowledged the new leadership of the house, contrary to his earlier stance that the new officers were on their own.

The PUNCH, Monday, December 05, 2005

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.