EDO: Panic as multi-billion-naira allegation rattles Obaseki, puts him, his company, bank on another anti-graft agency’s radar
While the initial fear that the police might be sucked into the alleged APC gang-up against PDP’s Gov. Godwin Obaseki in the lead-up to the September 19 election has yet to subside, a fresh one just came up.
An allegation raked up against the governor earlier has refused to go. It has rather put him on the radar of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies as a person of interest thanks to its amplification by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa .
Once again, on the heel of Obaseki’s successful campaign, the ICPC has been prompted to consider the books of Afriinvest and Primus Bank, companies Obaseki owns, which have allegedly received contracts from the state since 2016.
It is even possible the commission has begun its sleaze-hounding because the federal agency was petitioned early July—about enough time for a witch-hunt if that’s on the cards.
According to the coalition, Obaseki has been “stashing Edo’s funds in Afrinvest Ltd, and the monies formed the starting capital for Primus Bank, a regional bank awaiting CBN approval”.
“On July 4, we were shocked, like all Edo State indigenes, to read the petition by members of Obaseki’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ICPC against the governor over his corrupt relationship with the firm (Afrinvest Limited) he founded and he was chairman of its Board of Directors, before he was elected governor, and Primus Bank,” the group, through its Dep. National Chairman Jude Gadimoh, said at a press conference in Benin on Tuesday.
The group fingered one of Obaseki’s commissioner arrested abroad ‘for possessing an unexplained $2 million, and has remained in detention for money laundering’.
“We demand immediate commencement of investigation into the allegations levelled by the petitioners against Obaseki, in order to serve justice to the people of Edo State, who have suffered double jeopardy of an incompetent and manically-corrupt governor.”
But, as expected, the governor has denied what he called senseless allegations.
“These are falsehood and campaigns of calumny. The allegations are not true. The governor did not divert any money. Instead, he is bringing money into the state to see how he can carry Edo forward,” he said through Communication Commissioner Efe Stewart.
“You can see the dividends of what we call MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) that we have been talking about. We have results to show for the MoUs. The MoUs are result oriented.”
Obaseki said his enemies— the APC, its candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and backer Adams Oshiomhole—know they have failed in the September election—that is why they are coming up with that blackmail.
But the group claimed some PDP members unearthed the allegations on July 4, and petitioned the ICPC.
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