More than two weeks after the Managing Director of Kakatar Civil Engineering Company, Robert Azibaola, and his Executive Director, Projects, were arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over a $40 million pipeline job, their lawyer, Gordy Uche (SAN), has accused the commission of embarking on a vendetta mission against former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Uche alleged that the commission was trying to shop for non-existent evidence against Jonathan by arresting and detaining Azibaola just because he is seen as one of his closest confidants and relatives from Bayelsa State.
“My client is being persecuted and punished by the EFCC because of his DNA, as a relative of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.
This lawyer posited that the Federal Government was still owing his client $4million, being balance of the contract sum for successfully securing oil pipelines which saw Nigeria reap billions of US dollars from increased oil production.
He challenged the EFCC to either charge his clients to court or release them on bail.
The arrests have generated controversy between lawyers to Roberts and that of the EFCC over who should refund money to who.
The EFCC had on March 23, 2016, arrested Robert, a cousin and close confidant of former President Goodluck Jonathan, on accusation of diversion of public funds through Oneplus Holdings, sister company of his other company, Kakatar Construction and Engineering Company Limited.
One-plus Holdings was paid $40m by the detained former National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) for oil pipelines security contract.
It has been gathered that the EFCC is insisting that Oneplus Holdings should show proof of work done, including receipts of payments made to third parties from the proceeds of the said contract, or in the alternative, refund the $40m to government coffers. It is for this reason that Robert and Atukpa have been held incommunicado by the EFCC for over two weeks.
Spokesman for the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed to Vanguard that both Azibaola and Atukpa were admitted to bail two days after their arrest but were unable to fulfill the conditions attached to the bail. Vanguard