Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, has pleaded with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to immediately investigate and freeze Bayelsa State Government bank accounts over the alleged illegal withdrawal and diversion of N17.5 billion.
The APC deputy spokesperson claimed that the funds were illegally withdrawn on the orders of state Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to prosecute the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election.
In the statement he made available to reporters in Abuja last weekend, Nabena urged the anti-corruption agencies to track the already withdrawn N17.5 billion and arrest those directly involved in the withdrawals.
“In the last two weeks the Bayelsa State Government have in highly suspicious circumstances made several withdrawals to the tune of N17.5 billion without any corresponding project to justify the withdrawals,” Nabena stated.
“Insider reports we recieved state that Governor Seriake Dickson approved the illegal withdrawals to fund the election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state.
“The EFCC and the NFIU must urgently freeze the state government accounts to stop further illegal withdrawals. They must also track down the already withdrawn N17.5 billion and arrest those involved in the illegal withdrawals.
“Our sources reported that some of the cash is stashed in the confines of the state government. Others have been laundered through the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).
“I had last week raised the alarm over the Governor openly boasting that he has the money to pay the police and army, including their retirement benefits if they work for him in the elections.
“It is now clear that Governor Dickson is bent on using the federal allocation meant for Bayelsans to rig the election and install his stooge. He also plans to use public funds to sponsor new militant camps and the illegal activities of the state security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo which he is using to harass political opponents in his party PDP and APC members, supporters and leaders in the state ahead of the governorship election.”