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Court orders Uba, Achigbu’s probe over Ibori’s money



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Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar, to conduct an  investigation on Senator Andy Uba and a businessman, Chibuike Achigbu, over the controversial $15m cash allegedly to be given to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as bribe by former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori.

A statement from the Festus Keyamo Chambers, signed by Messrs Oghenovo Otemu and Ugochukwu Ezekiel, assistant head, Abuja, said the court made the order on Monday, September 10, 2012, following a direct criminal complaint made by the chamber.

The IGP was ordered to report his findings to the court on September 26, 2012.

The statement read, “On Monday, September 10, 2012, the Chief Magistrate Court, sitting in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, presided over by Chief Magistrate Okagu, made an order directing the Inspector-General of Police to conduct a thorough criminal investigation against one Andy Uba and Chibuike Achigbu over allegations surrounding the $15m Ibori bribe.

“The order was made based on a Direct Criminal Complaint filed in the court by Mr. Festus Keyamo against Andy Uba and Chibuike Achigbu accusing them of conspiracy, abetment and bribery in respect of the $15m Ibori bribe.

“The court has ordered the Inspector-General of Police to report back to the court with his findings on the 26th of September, 2012.

“Mr. Festus Keyamo has already written to the Inspector-General of Police forwarding the Certified True Copy of the court order for his attention and necessary action.”

Achigbu had on August 29, 2012, filed an application before an Abuja Federal High Court to claim the $15m, which had been kept in the strongroom of the Central Bank of Nigeria as unclaimed property since 2007.

Achigbu claimed that, rather than bribe money from Ibori, the sum was actually monetary donations pulled together by a group of unnamed businessmen to fund the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007.

He said he actually handed the $15m cash to Uba, then a presidential aide.

Although Achigbu had said in the now withdrawn application that Uba offered to depose to his claim to the $15m on oath before the court, the Senator denied the claims and distanced himself from the suit.

The Federal Government and Delta State Government are currently enaged in a legal battle for the cash.

The matter will come up for hearing on September 17, 2012, when Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja FHC will determine a motion in which the Federal Government applied for the final forfeiture of the money to it.

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