Ahead of the forthcoming Governorship election in Edo State, some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have filed a petition against the Governor, Godwin Obaseki for alleged diversion of state’s funds using Afrinvest Limited.
Obaseki founded Afrinvest Limited in 1994 (26 years ago) and stepped down in 2016, to contest the governorship election in Edo State.
The petition, signed by a PDP member in Ward 3, Orhionmwon LGA of Edo, Andrew Egboigbe, was addressed to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) with the title “Petition Against the Unfairly Advantageous Awarding of Edo State Contracts to Afrinvest Limited by Mr. Godwin Obaseki.”
The group accused Obaseki of awarding a N1.8 billion consultation contract on Water Storm Project to Afrinvest Limited without the approval of his cabinet and the legislative arm of government.
Part of the petition reads: “That Afrinvest Limited has, on different occasions, served as a front and pipe for Mr Godwin Obaseki’s diversion of State’s funds through bogus contracts and budgetary allocations.
“That the security votes of Edo State, increased to an annual sum of 7.5 billion naira by Mr Godwin Obaseki, since 2016 has been deposited in Afrinvest Limited’s bank account and serves, alongside other illegally obtained profits, as the starting capital used to resuscitate PRIMUS BANK, which Mr. Godwin Obaseki, acting through his proxies, is now seeking approval for to operate as a regional bank.”
Acknowledging that a sitting Governor of a state in Nigeria can not be arrested, the group noted that the Governor can still be investigated by the ICPC without any violation of his office’s immunity clause.
The petitioners urged the ICPC to act within the mandate of its powers having established ‘facts’ and provided the surrounding context of the corrupt relationship between Obaseki, Afrinvest and Primus Bank.
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