The law firm of August Solicitors, have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), asking for the transfer of assets valued at N6.5 billion that were forfeited by former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, and Enugu PDP Governorship Candidate in the 2023 elections, Mr. Peter Mbah, to Enugu State.
In a letter, signed by Barr Peter Chime, dated October 27, 2022, and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, the solicitors claim that the said sum was as contained in the plea bargain reached in the judgment of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Lagos Division, which was delivered on July 7, 2015 pursuant to section 27012) and (13) of the administration of criminal justice act, 2015.
The lawyers who claim to represent the people of Enugu State are asking the EFCC, to transfer the said sum back to the coffers of Enugu State, because, according to them, the money rightfully belongs to the people Enugu State.The petition read in part:
“We are Solicitors to Enugu State Youth Leaders Forum led by PETER CHIME of No. 80, Nza Street. Independence Layout Enugu, Enugu State, and in whose instructions we make this application.
That sometime between 2003-2007, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and Peter Mbah were the Executive Governor of Enugu State and Enugu State Commissioner for Finance respectively.
“That during their tenure the said Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and Peter Mbah were alleged to have laundered the sum of over N6.5 Billion Naira belonging to various Local Governments in Enugu State for the development of various Communities of our clients in the 17 Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“That on 22/1/2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed Charge No. FIIC/L/09C/2007: THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA v. PETER MBAH & ORS, at the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Lagos Division for offences arising from the money laundering activities of Peter Mbah for and on behalf of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani.
“That on 16/7/2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also filed Charge No FHC123002007 FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA v. CHIMAROKE NNAMANI and his accomplices in the money laundering crimes.
“That on 7/7/2015. Peter Mbah and Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani pleaded guilty to the offences charged and forfeited the properties listed as Exhibit RAZ to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
”The petitioners believe justice will only have been served if and when the forfeited amount is returned to the people from whom it was stolen in the first place, and urged the EFCC to see that justice is done and seen to have been done.
In another development, a group of lawyers, under the aegis of Enugu State Lawyers for Good Governance have written to President Muhammadu Buhari, thanking him for ignoring the invitation extended to him as special guest of honour at the recent commissioning of Pinnacle Oil tank farms in Lagos.In the letter, the group said Buhari’s absence at the event was proof that he was a listening leader.
“We, the Enugu State Lawyers For Good Governance on behalf of the law-abiding citizens of Enugu State humbly appreciate the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for not attending the commissioning of the Pinnacle Tank Farms, Lekki Free Trade Zone Terminal Lagos as requested by the majority of concerned Enugu State Indigenes and Lawyers.
This is a testament to the fact that Your Excellency, as a father of all, is a listening Leader,” the group said in their letter.
Describing the promoters of the tank farm as “unscrupulous”, the lawyers said Buhari’s absence at the event ensured that his integrity was not utilized to cover foundations of corruption.