Investigate Andy Uba, Chibuike Achigbu, now, Lawyers tell EFCC

Uba, former domestic assistant to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo
Uba, former domestic assistant to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

Mr. Achigbu’s claims were made on oath and withdrawal from court does not vitiate them, lawyers say.By Idris Akinbajo

 

Senior Lawyers, Friday,  called for the investigation of Andy Uba, a serving Senator, over his role in the $15 million bribery saga involving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and James Ibori, former delta State Governor.

The demand by the lawyers follows claims made by a Lagos businessman, Chibuike Achigbu, that he was the true owner of the money and only asked Mr. Uba to help cleanse the money through the EFCC.

Mr. Achigbu claimed in a sworn affidavit that Mr. Uba called him on Tuesday, to say that it was the money he gave to the Senator in 2007 that is now a subject of litigation between the Federal and Delta state Governments.

Both The Federal Government (FG) and Delta State are asking the Court to return the money to them, after Nuhu Ribadu, the former EFCC boss, and target recipient of the bribe, deposited it with the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2007.

Mr. Ribadu had alleged that Mr. Ibori offered him the money, at the residence of Mr. Uba, so that the EFCC could drop its investigation of the former governor.

In a controversial twist, Mr. Achigbu on Friday withdrew his application from the court.

Lawyers however insist that since Mr. Achigbu claimed on oath that he owned the money, the EFCC had a responsibility to investigate both him and Mr. Uba

 

Investigate Achigbu now

“It is on oath. It is an affidavit . Under the oath act, it is an offence to swear to a false oath,” Charles Musa, Lagos based lawyer said. “The source of that fund must be investigated. EFCC has a duty to investigate that fund.”

Mr. Musa said all of Mr. Achigbu’s claims on oath, including his relationship with Mr. Uba, need to be investigated by the EFCC. He said Mr. Achigbu’s withdrawal of the application did not cancel the oath his lawyer made on his  behalf.

“Since  he said he raised the money from friends, the friends also should be asked about their source of funds. What business did they do to earn that kind of income?” he said.

Human rights lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, says the EFCC must investigate  not only Mr. Achigbu’s claim but the man himself. Mr. Ogunye argued that the mode by which Mr. Achigbu brought his application meant he believed in his statements.

“Three Senior Advocates of Nigeria who are presumably supremely learned in the law brought this application. What this man wanted the court to believe is that his application was not only a serious one, but contains the truth,” he said.

Mr. Ogunye said the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, has a duty to ensure that Mr. Uba, and Mr. Achigbu are investigated for their roles in the bribery saga.

“It is the duty of the Attorney General of the Federation to cause an investigation into the matter with a view to see that justice is done,” he said.

Another lawyer, Festus Keyamo, had called for a thorough investigation of the roles played by Mr. Uba and others involved in the bribery scandal.

“Arrest immediately the duo of Andy Uba and Chibuike Achigbu, interrogate them, trace the origin of the $15million, and if it has no origin, charge them with money laundering and/or conspiracy and bribery,” Mr. Keyamo said.

 

EFCC is mute

Despite being at the centre of the storm, the EFCC is yet to make clear its next actions on the bribery scandal.

Mr. Achigbu had claimed in his affidavit that Ibrahim Lamorde, the EFCC chairman, who was then the Director of

Operations, was the one who received the bribe, from Mr. Uba, on behalf of Mr. Ribadu.

The commission however refused to comment on whether it would investigate Mr. Achigbu and Mr. Uba.

“I cannot comment on it, because the matter is in court,” Wilson Uwujaren, the commission’s spokesman said.

The only matter in court is the appeal filed by the EFCC against a Delta Court’s decision freeing Mr. Ibori of a 170 count charge of corruption filed by the EFCC. One of the counts is that he offered Mr. Ribadu the $15 million bribe.

 

*Download Mr. Achigbu’s court application here


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  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    Lamorde should charge Andy Uba or resign.

  • uduakomiri

    Lamorde received the money on behave of Ribadu which means there is more connection of Lamorde to this whole $15M bribery scandal than he has openly admitted. You don’t leave $15M with anybody and ask them to pass it on to their boss especially in situations where the ‘courier’ could disappear with the bribe or even deny knowledge of it.
    Lamorde is definitely Uba and Ibori’s back channel in the EFCC. Kai Nigeria, this Lamorde we all thought was better than the Waziri is even neck deep in the anti-corruption gimmick. This leaves me wondering whether Ribadu would not have pocketed the money if Uba and Ibori had been more discreet and pragmatic in their approach.
    Nigeria is a rotten place. More rotten than we could ever imagine. Every individual in the pavement of governance in Nigeria is as rotten as the next official if not even worse.
    Look at the efcc, we replaced Ribadu with Waziri who was just swimming in corruption. Look at the police, Ringim turned out to be worse than the person he replaced just like Azazi was as clueless as the man before him. Bankole took over from Patricia Etteh and broke all the records in official corruption. The current senate president is even worse than his predecessors in terms of being neutered version of Evan Enwerem, Ken Nnamani and Chuba Okadigbo.
    At the presidency, during the years of military infamy, we’d imagined Walter Offornagoro, Chukwumerije, Wada Nas and a long list of Orwellian government paid propagandists were the worst we’d seen. Those who took over from them, Doyin Okupe,Frank Nweke Jnr, Olusegun Adeniyi all broke the records held by those before them in the art of official lying. Reuben Abati has even taken the whole cock and bull story game to stunning childish levels of official addiction with deception by gluttonous use of words to create a facade of truth not just as a diversionary, state-sponsored PR stunt but as the only oncontrovertible truth that must be accepted by the citizens without question. In his fantasy world of cosy dreamlike Aso Rock, there is only one form of truth, the officially sanctioned lies and these must be religiously followed by the citizens.
    I could go on, but of what use will it be because the rot has spread everywhere and everything in Nigeria is now infected. Those tyre burning citizens who happily lynch a hungry man who stole a satchet of pure water are more than happy to sing praises and even scramble for a spray of crisp notes from corrupt politicians whose faces are splattered all over the newspapers of having stolen billions of naira from government coffers. You look to your right these top thieves are being gathered by policemen, sss, and army officers. And you look left the youths are dancing, and bullying other road users out of the path of these politicians. You look up and there are religious clerics who vouch for them and lay hands on them for more good fortunes, in a sense for more opportunities to loot without let or hindrance. The visit of both muslim and christian clerics who went to Aso Rock to see Yar’dua in 2010, and came back to tell Nigerians the man was in good health. Some of these religious people even told us he got up, hugged them and shook their hands, while others said he was playing tennis and doing marathons of exercise. Yet the whole world knew the man was in coma on his way out.
    Nigeria is rotten to the core. I dare say, as always we break every record of things corrupt. I guess we have outdone ancient babylon with our greed and corruption, we have equally outdone the ancient Mayans with our penchant for violence and killing sprees. We have outdone even Al Shabab and the Talibans combined together with criminality in the name of god. Our government is working itself into frenzy through JTF to label every explosion, gun fight, armed robbery, accidental discarge, stray bullets, and sundry crimes as IED. Everything now is IED even if you fart in Maiduguri, it is IED, if you puke your lungs out from a terrible egusi soup you ate the previous night, it is IED. Everybody killed b stray bullets, bank robbers, pick pockets, area boys, massob, almajiri, innocent civilians, cultists, ritualists, yahoo yahoo boys and girls, even drug barons in fact every criminal is now a terrorist or Boko Haram. Kai Nigeria! We worwor past dabaru!

  • Edo

    You want efcc to investigate the case they are equally involved in? Na wah o!!