Former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi is battling to save his wife, Judith Amaechi from probe over the looting of N48billion from a contract she received from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, under Nelson Brambaifa’s watch as Acting Managing Director.
According to sources in the NDDC, Amaechi is rather begging for a soft landing to save his family from a major national embarrassment, vis-à-vis his 2023 ambition.
It would be recalled that Brambaifa, a pawn of Amaechi, was appointed Acting MD of NDDC in January 2019, and was sacked shortly in August the same year, following allegations of
corruption in NDDC under his nose.
The sources told Pointblanknews.com that Mrs. Amaechi had through her Non-Governmental Organization, Empowerment Support Initiatives, ESI, received a N70billion contract from the agency to train Niger Deltans in skill Acquisitions such as Tailoring, Soap making, Carpentry and others.
However, after the award of contract to ESI, sources further told Pointblanknews.com that Mrs Amaechi received N48billion, and claimed that it trained of over 2000 women and youths drawn from the 23 LGAs of Rivers State.
Other training ESI claimed was done includes: Elaborate skills Training programme in Fashion Designing Facilitated by a renowned Fashion Designer, Ade Bakare Couture for the following artisans in the fashion industry: Sewing and tailoring, Hat Making & Millinery, Bead Making, Fashion Illustration, Fashion Modelling.
The source added that Mrs Amaechi’s ESI as a major contractor with the NDDC, was aided to steal by Brambaifa who was personally nominated by her husband to collect several contracts running into billions, most of which were never executed.
While one source said the N48billion was paid to ESI in split payment of N4billion monthly, another source at the Finance Department of the NDDC told pointblanknews.com that the N48billion was paid in instalments of N4billion weekly.
The report of the shocking contract has now been tabled before the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, who in turn is alleged to have used it to threaten the Transport Minister.
BUHARI’S FAILED ATTEMPT TO CLEANSE THE NDDC
While the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has pretended to sanitize the NDDC through a Forensic Audit as championed by Godswill Akpabio, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, the rot in the commission has only gotten worse, as more outrageous revelations emerge.
Upon investigation, The Heritage Times discovered that children of the ousted Brambaifa who was kicked out for ‘corruption’, currently drive flashy cars around the FCT and live in opulence.
His sons namely David and Christopher Brambaifa, former Executive Director of Finance, Chris Amadi, his wife Anna, Preye Brambaifa, Greg David Osuma, Clara Osuma, Mike Ayapaye, Uche Aleke, Sunday Aguebor, Brigadier Charles Nengite and Tony Chukwu, most of whom are Amaechi’s cohorts, were all accused of jointly looting over N100billion within three months of Brambaifa’s tenure in office.
This is also another sign of Buhari’s fall-through attempt at fighting corruption, with the Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei episode still fresh in memory.
While Amaechi and Governor Ahmed Elrufai of Kaduna state are both reportedly eyeing the Presidency and Vice Presidency respectively in 2023, the duo belong to a rival group in
the All Progressive Congress, APC, which is opposed to the Malami group.
According to the source, the report of the N48billion contract from the NDDC is now being used to silence Amaechi and bully him out of his ambition.
“Amaechi now runs to Tunde, Buhari’s PA to help him lobby Malami so his wife is not prosecuted.
“This is why Amaechi no longer talks tough or says anything to his supporters about 2023 or his ambition. He is very worried,” a source close to the Transport Minister told Pointblanknews.com.
Amaechi is now alleged to be afraid that the Attorney General may use the documents of the looting in his custody either now or in the future to blackmail him.
While Brig-Gen. Charles Nengite is currently facing prosecution by the Military, and the others are yet to be prosecuted, his wife, Mrs Chizoba Vivian Nengite, last year denied allegations that lodgements ranging from $11 million to $15 million were found in her bank account in the United States of America.
Her lawyer, Mr. Taofik Adeleke, denying the reports, said: “A false allegation by unknown sources was made against our client insinuating that our client was involved in money laundering activities. The said publications specifically stated that sums, ranging from between $11 million to $15 million were found in our client’s private account in the United States of America and that our client is under investigation by the authorities in the United States of America”.
Sources told pointblanknews.com that Brambaifa had told investigators when he was first interrogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that he gave N66billion to support the Buhari’s Presidential Campaign in 2019.
The said sum according to insiders, was allegedly given to Amaechi who was a member of the APC Presidential Campaign team.
AMAECHI MAY NOW EAT HIS OWN WORDS
It would be recalled that in 2017, Amaechi painted himself a saint when he stated on live television during an interview that he is not corrupt and don’t like money.
“I have told Nigerians and I repeat today that I am not corrupt and that I don’t like money. I am not one swayed by money.
“I have lived a character that most Nigerians can tell you.
“I try as much as possible not to annoy God by saying I am honest but with all modesty, I am an honest Nigerian, and there are very few honest Nigerians,” he boasted.
Sadly, his boastful and self-justifying outburst, does not tally with this shocking revelation.
The Heritage Times is however making investigations into the saga, and would unveil its findings as events unfold.