Governor of oil rich Rivers state arrested on charges of corruption


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Governor of oil rich Rivers state arrested on charges of corruption

Nigeria’s anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Thursday arraigned the Chief of Staff to the Governor of oil rich Rivers state, Ezebunwo Nyeson Wike, before an Abuja High Court for ‘conversion’ of public funds totalling 4.670 billion naira (US$1=118 naira). Wike, who was arrested by the EFCC earlier in the week, was arraigned on a seven-count charge of criminal breach of trust and conversion of public funds belonging to the state. The offence was said to have been committed between 2007 and 5 June 2008. Wike pleaded not guilty to the charges and presiding Justice Abimbola Banjoko granted him bail on very stringent conditions. The case was adjourned till 24 Oct., 2008. The main oil militants in the oil producing Niger Delta region have threatened to unleash anarchy in Rivers state if those arrested in connection with the alleged fraud are not brought to justice. Observers have blamed massive corruption among public officials for the massive poverty and under-development in the oil region, despite 50 years of oil exploration there.

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