Posted by Vanguard on
FORMER governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha currently facing trial for corruption believes there is nothing wrong in accumulating millions of dollars while in office
ABUJA – FORMER governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha currently facing trial for corruption believes there is nothing wrong in accumulating millions of dollars while in office.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is accusing Chief Alamieyeseigha who was removed from office 18 months ago of acquiring 18 properties in three countries, six companies, and more than $6 million in banks in four countries and shares in an oil refinery in Equador.
He has denied most of the charges — he says he has never been to Ecuador — but is unrepentant about 1.7 million pounds ($3.3 million) frozen in British bank accounts, which he says were unused campaign funds from elections in 2003.
“You can’t say that you will be the governor of a wealthy state for six years and your standard of living not improve. No way. Everyone wants to improve,” he told Reuters in an interview from detention in hospital in Abuja.
“There is nobody you can probe in public office in Nigeria and not find anything. That is not realistic.”
A three-bedroom flat he owns in South Africa is tiny compared to the “palaces” of some other governors, he added. Before his arrest in London on money laundering charges in 2005, Alamieyeseigha was an ally of the vice president.
“The only offence I have committed is that Atiku said he would use me as his vice president,” said Alamieyeseigha.
Despite cases against him at home and abroad, Alamieyeseigha hopes things will look up after the poll.
His deputy governor for six years in Bayelsa State, Goodluck Jonathan, is now the PDP candidate for vice president and Alamieyeseigha is hoping for some clemency if he wins.
His release is also demanded by militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta, who see his detention as a slight on their ethnic group. Many see his freedom as a precondition for talks with armed militias whose attacks have cut oil output.
“I didn’t kill anyone. The charge is money laundering and the sentence is two years. I have almost served that already,” he said, reclining in a leather armchair in an air-conditioned sitting room at the hospital where he is in detention.
These terms and conditions contain rules about posting comments. By submitting a comment, you are declaring that you agree with these rules:
Failure to comply with these rules may result in being banned from further commenting.
These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time and without notice.