OPERATIVES of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday quizzed the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Seriake Dickson, over allegations of misappropriation of public funds when he served as governor.
It was gathered that Dickson, who represents Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, was invited by the anti-corruption commission to answer questions regarding the alleged misappropriation said to have been perpetrated during his eight-year tenure between 2012 and 2020.
A source informed Nigerian Tribune that the senator arrived at the EFCC headquarters at Jabi, Abuja, at about 11.00 a.m. and immediately faced the team of operatives investigating the allegations against him.
“Former governor of Bayelsa State and senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Seriake Dickson, today (Tuesday) presented himself to the EFCC following an invitation,” the source said, adding that, “the allegations border on abuse of office and misappropriation of funds during the years he served as governor.”
Though details of the allegations against the senator were sketchy as of the time of filing this report, another source informed that Dickson was being investigated by the anti-graft agency on issues relating to assets declaration and misapplication of intervention funds and other assets belonging to Bayelsa State government.
When contacted, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development. In a statement later on Tuesday, Dickson said he honoured an invitation by EFCC because of the respect he has for law enforcement agencies.
In a statement he personally signed, Dickson described a petition written against him by a non-government organisation (NGO) as frivolous, saying that he acquired his family assets since 2007 through loans.
He also dismissed allegations that he spent N17.5 billion donated to the states to fund his re-election in 2019, adding that there was no such donation and there was no election.
“For the avoidance of doubts, let me state that my family investments, Seriake Dickson Trust Incorporated, were made between 1996 and 2012 before I became governor.
“These investments were funded by loans and advances and repaid from salaries, allowances, savings and others. One of them is still on mortgage and I have made these documents available to the EFCC.
“These investments were declared in my assets declaration form at the House of Representatives in 2011; my governorship form in 2012, 2016, 2020 after I left office and the Senate assets declaration form this year,” he said.
According to him, beyond such declarations, he also wrote several letters to the appropriate agencies, copies of which he said had been made available to the EFCC. He then said after looking into the allegations, the commission asked him to return home on self recognition
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