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In what looks like an attempt to douse tension in Rivers State, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) yesterday denied allegations that it was planning to freeze the state government’s bank accounts.
It also disclosed that it was working to unravel a syndicate that sells genuine and fake Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts to unsuspecting victims.
EFCC’s South-South zonal head, Nnaghe Obono Itam, stated this while reacting to Governor Nyesom Wike’s claim that the Federal Government was planning to use the anti-graft agency to block the state’s accounts under the pretense of investigating its accounts for alleged money laundering.
Rather than accuse the anti-graft agency of witch-hunting, Itam urged the South-South states including Rivers to be free from corruption in all its ramifications.
He stressed that if the states were satisfied that their funds were being properly managed, then they should have nothing to fear.
His words: “I am not aware that EFCC is looking for the State accounts to block. Accounts are not spirits. Accounts are not hidden because they are in money deposit banks.
“It is not a secret. Nobody wants to block any account. If the accounts are blocked, the banks will let them know,” he said.
Itam explained that the EFCC has beamed its searchlight on the NDDC with a view to breaking a syndicate that sells genuine and fake NDDC contracts to unsuspecting victims.
He stated that the EFCC was particularly worried about cases of awarding fake contracts to contractors in the Niger Delta.
He further explained that some contractors, in their desperation to get contracts from the NDDC have often got involved in racketeering and underhand dealings that are not good for business transactions.