Why we disowned George, by Dickson
GOVERNOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has disclosed the reason why his administration disowned Barrister George Mbu who “blew the whistle” about allegations of diversion of funds recovered from former state governor, Dipreye Alameiseigha and alleged complicity of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde.
Mbu had appeared before the Senate Committee probing Lamorde over alleged complicity in the diversion of funds amounting to N1trillion and claimed that Dickson’s administration was intimidated to withdraw from a suit filed over the matter.
But Dickson, while briefing members of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) said although the purported whistle blower was handed a permission to help recovered monies allegedly withheld from the State by the EFCC, the decision to go to court did not receive the blessings of the state government.
According to Dickson, “What I know is that some funds were recovered and sent through the proper channels. The diplomatic corps are part of the management of it. The Nigerian High Commission working with the British government and other foreign government got involved through the investigative agencies and through the Attorney General’s Office.
“It’s a normal protocol and I know that my immediate predecessor received the bulk of it. I was told that, that what he used to lay the foundation of the Transparency Plaza which he started; of course he didn’t complete it as he didn’t complete anything.
“When we came on board, in October we received a remittance and it was part of the Transparency report of that month announced to the state and it was properly utilized for the common good. The story about that gentleman, what happened is that some elders from this state brought him to the Commissioner of Finance and here our eyes are always red when it comes to getting money to add to our money here to spend for public good.
“He said, if we give him authorization he will go and work out and bring the money. The Finance Commissioner gave him an authorization letter to go and recover the money. The gentleman collected the letter and the next thing we heard, he took EFCC to court and tried to do the sort of things he is doing now to EFCC and I said no.
“I don’t want my government and my state to be used as a cannon folder to bring down public institutions or public officer. If you were mandated to recover funds, you need our express permission before you go to court. It is the AG that will take the final decision as to whether to go to court or to instruct you.”