The Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday asked the nation’s anti-graft bodies to investigate the Afriinvest allegedly owned by Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The party also said the planned approval to PRIMUS BANK should be suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Edo APC Campaign media adviser, John Mayaki told reporters in Benin city, the state capital, that the link between the Edo State government and the company should be investigated.
He noted that a petition has been submitted to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on the alleged dealings between the state government and the company.
Mayaki said:”Upon his emergence as governor, he installed a puppet in the person of one Ike Chioke as the head of the firm while, from behind the scenes, he continued to pull the strings. There have been previous alarms raised as to the nature of the relationship between the Edo State Government and Afrinvest Limited since Obaseki emerged as governor.
“In 2016, when Mr. Godwin Obaseki was seeking to be governor, his AfriInvest company was near insolvency. The ingrate could barely raise ten million naira to sponsor his own governorship bid.
According to the petition, in a dramatic twist, the same company, barely four years after, is now on the verge of seeking approval for the ownership of a regional bank with the name: PRIMUS BANK.”
Mayaki said the petitioners alleged that Obaseki has used his influence to shore up his personal firm, Afrinvest, and to fund his dream of owning a bank.
He added:”in an instance cited in the petition, it was mentioned that upon his assumption, Obaseki unilaterally increased the security votes to 7.5 billion naira annually.
“The security vote is a budgeted fund spent at the discretion of the governor. While other governors have spent the funds faithfully and with transparency, Obaseki has not spent it judiciously.
“It is also a fact that, of the 7.5 billion naira annual largesse Obaseki pockets as security vote, the outgoing governor hands only 5 million naira to the Police and other security agencies as operation funds, alhough this paltry and disgraceful sum is not sufficient to fuel the available vehicles, much less provide needed