News / Africa

Nigeria's EFCC Makes Fresh Appeal for Former Governor to Surrender

Former governor of Nigeria's oil rich Delta State, James Ibori (File)
Former governor of Nigeria's oil rich Delta State, James Ibori (File)

Multimedia

Audio

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has again appealed to former Delta State governor James Obori to make himself available and answer new allegations of corruption and money laundering while he was governor.

This comes as the former governor has reportedly filed a 10 billion Naira (about $67 million) libel suit against the EFCC for declaring him a wanted person.

Ibori reportedly said through his lawyer Monday he will not appear before the EFCC until a court decides his case.

EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said the agency has no intention to infringe on Chief Obori’s constitutional rights.

“The commission has a petition accusing the former governor of Delta State of quite a lot of things, especially the diversion of the shares of the Delta State government in Oceanic Bank International to guarantee a 44 billion Naira loan in Intercontinental Bank for a private company called Ascot which is allegedly linked to him," he said.

Babafemi said the petition, brought by a group known as the Delta Elders and Stakeholders Forum also alleges that Chief Ibori equally directed that the shares be sold to offset part of the loan already granted the company.

He said the allegations against Chief Ibori are new, contrary to claims by Ibori’s lawyers that the allegations had already been investigated.

“We can’t reinvestigate a matter that has been decided in court and for which we are also in court to appeal against the judgment of a Federal High Court," said Babafemi.  "It’s a completely different case that we are investigating. And that’s why we assured, in our statement, the former Delta State governor to please come out the EFCC will not in any way infringe on his rights."

Babafemi said the EFCC is guided by the rule of law, and if the agency finds any criminal information on the former governor it would definitely take him to court.

He said Ibori remains a wanted man, and that if he does not make himself available the commission would initiate a man hunt by both the public and security forces.

“We have been looking for him for over four weeks now. Since he has failed to show up, the first step we took was to declare him wanted," he said.  "What that means is that there will be a coordinated man hunt for him by not just security agencies but by members of the public as well who may have information as to his whereabouts."

Babafemi denied the new allegations against Ibori were politically motivated as punishment for what some have called the former governor’s alleged support for ailing Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“There is no truth in it that the investigation of allegations against him are politically motivated. How would you then reconcile the fact that somebody that faced trial even under the administration of Umaru Yar’Adua, how would you reconcile the fact that the same person again, under the same administration is facing another round of investigation?” Babafemi asked.

Babafemi said he is not aware of any political influence over the EFCC. He said claims of political motives behind the new allegations against Ibori are part of an attempt by those who would want to get away with committing crimes.

He said the Ibori case is part of the progress the IFCC is making in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Babafemi said since 2008 when Farida Waziri took over the leadership of the EFCC, the commission has filed about 50 high profile corruption cases in court compared to just 10 under the previous leadership.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid