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Group urges ICPC to investigate Obaseki, others

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By Bisi Olaniyi, Benin

A group, the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa, has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate Governor Godwin Obaseki, Afrinvest Ltd and Primus Bank for alleged corruption.

The organisation, on Tuesday through its Deputy National Chairman, Jude Gadimoh, at a news conference in Benin, accused Obaseki of abusing his office by awarding inflated contracts running into billions of naira to his firm, Afrinvest Ltd, without following due process.

It alleged: “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.

“Obaseki has been stashing Edo State’s funds in Afrinvest Ltd, which formed the starting capital for the establishment of the regional bank, with the name Primus Bank. The governor, acting through his proxies, has requested approval for the operation of Primus Bank at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Obaseki, whose commissioner was nabbed in overseas for possessing an unexplained $2 million, and remains in detention for money laundering, should explain the sources of funds in Afrinvest Ltd and Primus Bank.

“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.”

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The coalition demanded a full audit of the earnings of Afrinvest Ltd between 2016 and now, by a competent third-party auditing firm, with the report to be submitted to the ICPC to support its investigation into the petition filed against Obaseki.

The governor, reacting on the phone through the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Efe Stewart, urged the citizens to ignore “the senseless allegations.”

He said: “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. 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.

“Since they know that they have failed already, and they know that in the September 19 election, they have no hope and Edo people have resolved to chase them out, they are looking for one way or another to blackmail and tarnish the governor’s image.” group, the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa, has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate Governor Godwin Obaseki, Afrinvest Ltd and Primus Bank for alleged corruption.

The organisation, yesterday through its Deputy National Chairman, Jude Gadimoh, at a news conference in Benin, accused Obaseki of abusing his office by awarding inflated contracts running into billions of naira to his firm, Afrinvest Ltd, without following due process.

It alleged: “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.

“Obaseki has been stashing Edo State’s funds in Afrinvest Ltd, which formed the starting capital for the establishment of the regional bank, with the name Primus Bank. The governor, acting through his proxies, has requested approval for the operation of Primus Bank at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Obaseki, whose commissioner was nabbed in overseas for possessing an unexplained $2 million, and remains in detention for money laundering, should explain the sources of funds in Afrinvest Ltd and Primus Bank.

“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.”

The coalition demanded a full audit of the earnings of Afrinvest Ltd between 2016 and now, by a competent third-party auditing firm, with the report to be submitted to the ICPC to support its investigation into the petition filed against Obaseki.

The governor, reacting on the phone through the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Efe Stewart, urged the citizens to ignore “the senseless allegations.”

He said: “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. 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.

“Since they know that they have failed already, and they know that in the September 19 election, they have no hope and Edo people have resolved to chase them out, they are looking for one way or another to blackmail and tarnish the governor’s image.”

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