Group Urges EFCC to Arrest Fund Looters In Plateau State

 

Yakubu Busari, Jos

 

 

EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

 

The concerned group of  People Democratic Part , (PDP) have charged  the  Economic and Financial Crime Commission ,EFCC, Gombe state Zonal headquarters to get to the root of the 2015 campaign funds allocation for the prosecution of the presidential ambition of the immediate government by embarking on more arrest of those suspected to have engaged in financial crime and money laundering .

The group under the aegis of Concerned Patriots in Plateau state urged  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to embark on thorough investigation to arrest of the  culprits who engage in money laundering the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan in Plateau state .

The concerned group disclosed that arraigned of the  former Minister for Water Resource, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, and three orders  for alleged money laundering called for more arrest of PDP chieftains  who diverted such funds main for the campaign to the detriment of development of the state.

In a press statement made available dated February 1, 2018 and signed by its chairman, Hon. Dan Bulus, the group also called on the EFCC to focus more on indiscriminate arrest of  those involved in siphoning money main from the state in order to pursue   personal ambition, especially, within the immediate past administration. 

“You would recall that a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital has granted Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and two orders bail on self recognition and that the bail bond should be signed by her lead Counsel, Sunny G. Odey (Esq), as a second condition.

The group also called on Governor Simon Lalong to fast track the arrest of state treasury looters by to redeem his electioneering campaign  promises to the state.

“You would recall that the Plateau state Governor during his inaugural speech in 2015, had promised the people of the state that, the first thing he is going to do as governor is to recover these alleged looted funds of the state”.

As a step, the Governor wrote the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and for months he did not get their response nor did they swing into action as expected by the Governor.

Under a frustrated state, the Governor opened up to the people of the state on the alleged poor attitude of the EFCC, towards the Plateau state’s petition(s) before the Commission concerning the need for them to intervene for the state to recover the alleged looted funds.

As a second step, the Governor had set-up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) to look into the contractual dealings of the  immediate past administration in the state led by Sen. Jonah David Jang.

  They urged Governor Lalong to publish the Whitepaper on the findings of the JCI and Government’s decision on the JCI’s recommendations.

“We are going to course a rally to pressure the Governor to publish the findings and the actions and decision of his administration on the recommendations of the JCI towards the recovering of Plateau looted funds.

“We will also take our protest to the door step of the EFCC to pressure them to take action on the petitions before them relating to Plateau state and its looted funds.

“We expected them to have named and shamed those involved before now. But since they have not told us as people of Plateau state, we will course them to take steps or drag them to Court in order to get an order to force them to do their statutory function(s).”  

The EFCC had slammed a two count charge on Hon. Sarah Ochekpe, Hon. Raymond Dabo (former Plateau State PDP Deputy Chairman) and one Mr. Leo Jatau, for alleged Money Laundering, amounting to about N450 million.

The Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Musa H. Kurya, who said this is the first time in his practice as a judge that he would see a Counsel signing a bail bond for an accused person, said his decision to grant the accused bail is based on the ground that the prosecution, the EFCC is not opposing the bail applications. But, he however, warned that he would hold the Counsel, Odey (Esq) responsible since he does not know the defendants personally.

 

You would recall that Sunny G. Odey (Esq), who led other six other lawyers for the defence had drawn the attention of the Court to the bail applications personally deposed to be the defendants individually. Hearing on the matter has been fixed for 13th and 14th February, 2018.