11th September, 2012
Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
The controversy surrounding claims by a self acclaimed oil magnate, Mr. Chibuike Achigbu, that the alleged $15m Ibori bribe money belongs to him appears not to be abating even after he withdrew his affidavit in support of his claims at a Federal High Court.
An Abuja Chief Magistrate Court last Monday, made an order directing the Inspector-General of Police to conduct a thorough criminal investigation against Chibuike Achigbu and Senator Andy Uba whom Achigbu claimed he handed over the money to for onward transfer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for verification and clearance before the slush fund could be donated to the Peoples Democratic Party for the purpose of funding the ruling party’s 2007 campaign.
The order was made based on a direct criminal complaint filed before the court by Mr. Festus Keyamo against Andy Uba and Chibuike Achigbu accusing them of conspiracy, abetment and bribery in respect of the $15 million Ibori bribe.
Magistrate Okagu ordered the Inspector-General of Police to report back to the court with his findings on the 26th of September, 2012.
In a press release issued in Abuja, Mr. Keyamo stated that he had already written to the Inspector-General of Police forwarding the Certified True Copy of the court order for his attention and necessary action.
Mr. Achigbu stirred the hornets nest when he caused a team of ten senior lawyers, including senior advocates if Nigeria to institute an action before a Federal High Court also in Abuja where he claimed ownership of the money.
He said that he gave the money to Sen. Andy Uba, who was then the Domestic Aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the purpose of financing the Peoples Democratic Party during the 2007 general elections.
In the affidavit deposed to by Achigbu in support of his application, he stated that he first sought legal advice on whether he could raise money to support the PDP and its candidates throughout the federation for the purpose of winning the 2007 general elections.
According to him, by April 2007 when the election had drawn near, he had raised money in excess of N2 billion after which he realized that such donations could only be made and accepted through a financial institution.
He further stated that in order to legitimately apply the funds, that he approached Andy Uba to contact relevant agencies of government to investigate and certify that the funds were raised honestly and in good faith with a view to donating same to finance PDP.
He stated that Uba advised him to deliver the fund to him (Uba) for onward transmission to the anti graft agency being the agency of the Federal Government sufficiently equipped to give a clean of legitimacy to the fund before it could be donated to PDP.