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General News of Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

Fraud: Rivers govt to prosecute Amaechi, Cole, others

Transport minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi Transport minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi

Rivers State government has filed legal action against a former governor of the state, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole, and five other defendants at a High Court in the state for allegedly conspiring to steal the sum of $274, 563, 599.59 accruable from the sale of the state’s assets.

Other defendants on Charge No. PHC/1818/CR/2022, included: Chamberlain Peterside, Augustine Wokocha, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Powers-HIPS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited.

The document made available to journalists in Port Harcourt stated that the defendants faced a nine-count charges bordering on conspiracy, stealing and cheating.

Count one bordered on conspiracy and the defendants were accused of, “stealing the sum of $274, 563, 599.59, being proceeds from the sale of 70 per cent equity held by the Rivers State government in the power generation assets at Omoku Gas Turbine, Trans-Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine and Afam Gas Turbine Phase I to NG Powers-HPS Limited.”

The offence which the state government alleged was committed between 2011-2012 in Port Harcourt, it further stated was contrary to Section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. 37, Volume 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

Also, on count two which was on stealing, the accused persons, “committed the crime contrary to section 383 and punishable under section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. 37, Vol. 2 Law of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”

Similarly, on count three, the fourth, fifth and seventh defendants, between 2011-2012, within Port Harcourt Judicial Division, were accused of intent to cheat, “agreed to purchase from Rivers State government 70 per cent equity held by the state in the power generation assets at Omoku Gas Turbine, Trans-Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine and Afam Gas Turbine Phase I the sum of $302, 960,000.00 USD.”

On counts four and five, “conspiracy to defraud, the offence allegedly committed by the defendants, was said to be contrary to section 422 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State.”

The prosecution (State) on proof of evidence has a list of five witnesses for the case.

The inventory documents to be relied upon by the prosecution include the Shares Sale and Purchase Agreement between the state government and Rivers State Ministry of Finance Incorporated and First Independent Power Limited and NG Power-HPS Limited.

Another inventory the prosecution would rely upon would be Access Bank Statement, Bank Road, Port Harcourt, January 1, 2013 – August 22, 2015, and others.

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