A coalition of civil rights organisations in the country is mounting pressure on the Lagos State Government to initiate an investigation into the N255m allegedly intercepted by the police on Sunday, May 31, 2009, in the office of Next International, the private firm of Anambra State governor, Peter Obi located at 7, Aerodrome Road, Apapa in Lagos.
In a statement issued Saturday in Abuja and signed by the president of the coalition, Comrade Joseph Ifedinobi; the secretary, Barrister Jeremiah Tumba; and the publicity secretary, Tunde Oladimeji, the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which come under the umbrella of Transparency In Government Coalition, advised Lagos State to investigate the interception of “this huge sum with a view to prosecuting the governor from next March when he leaves office if he is found culpable.”
The group disclosed that it wants the outgoing governor investigated so as “to stop the terrible practice of governors stealing their states blind and investing their loots in places other their own and consequently under-developing their states”, accusing Obi of having just completed building the largest shopping mall in Abuja worth over N3 billion .
Explaining its reason for calling on Lagos to look into the matter, rather than wait for the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to do so, the coalition said: “Public confidence in the two anti-graft institutions has been declining rapidly on account of the lethargic manner they have in recent times been going about their business.”
It said “The offence was committed within the Lagos territory, so it is, in our view, within the legal and moral competence of the Lagos State government to investigate and prosecute the case, just as the state government has been prosecuting Major Hamza El Mustapha, General Sani Abacha’s chief security officer, for the alleged murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief Moshood Abiola who won the June 12, 1993, presidential election. ”