Immediate past governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has dragged the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, its chairman in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, and two others, before an Abuja High Court, over false allegations of ownership of foreign accounts and funds embezzlement against him.
He is seeking N300, 000, 000, 000.00 for general damages done to him over defamation of his character, reputation and person by the plaintiffs.
It will be recalled that in a press statement, the PDP in Rivers State, on August 6 and August 21, 2015, alleged that Amaechi stole $757 million or N80 billion of Rivers State public funds and stashed same away in an account in his name in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota, United States of America.
The PDP also alleged that Amaechi had embezzled millions of dollars of Rivers State money and stashed same in other foreign accounts in his name, including a bank in Switzerland.
The party claimed that the various foreign accounts operated by Amaechi were revealed by Christiane Amanpour of America’s Cable News Network, CNN.
The PDP went further to claim that Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, had written to President Muhammadu Buhari, that part of the funds was to purchase a residence for Amaechi in America and that they (Bancorp Bank) intended to return the stolen funds to Nigeria.
However, in a suit filed before an Abuja High court, FCT, Amaechi stated that each of the said malicious publications by the defendants (PDP, Felix Obuah and two others) “are untrue, motivated by ill-will and without any foundation in truth and further avers that the defendants made the said libelous publications after the PDP lost the presidential election and with a view to rubbishing him in the eyes of right thinking members of the public and the persons to whom the libelous publications have been made.”
In his statement of claims in the suit, Amaechi averred that he did not steal $757 million or N80 billion of Rivers State public funds and did not stash same away in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota, United States of America, neither did he stash away any state public funds in Switzerland.
The former governor noted that the Bancorp Bank in Minnesota, did not at any time reveal that he embezzled or misappropriated or connived in the embezzlement and misappropriation of money meant for Rivers State people in the sum of $757 million stashed away in his name with the bank.
Amaechi averred: “The Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, United States, did not write and did not communicate with President Muhammadu Buhari over any said sum of $757 million allegedly looted by the plaintiff that is kept with the bank and in Switzerland since no such money was ever looted by the plaintiff. There exists no letter which the defendants had seen written to President Buhari, by Bancorp Bank, confirming the existence, lodgment or transfer with the said Bancorp Bank and in Switzerland of the said sum in the name of the Plaintiff (Amaechi) since no such monies were ever looted by the Plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff (Amaechi) did not steal monies belonging to Rivers State and did not lodge them in any private foreign accounts. The Plaintiff did not admit that he lodged and domiciled in his name in an account in Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, any monies as alleged by the Defendants. The Plaintiff did not lodge any sum of $757 million or N80 billion in the said bank account belonging to him and none was revealed or blown open by Christiane Amanpour of CNN.”