COURTROOM NEWS 20/06/2022
Rivers Govt Files Charges Against Amaechi, Cole, Firm, Others
Former Transportation Minister is to face a nine-count charge instituted against him and others by the Rivers State government. The charges bother on alleged stealing, cheating and conspiracy.
Listed as co-defendants in the suit marked PHC/1818/CR/2022 filed on June 7 are: All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state Tonye Cole, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, Sir Augustine Wokocha, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited.
The offences of Amaechi and his co-defendants were contained in charge sheet, a copy of which was obtained by The Nation in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
In the statement of offence (count one0, the state said Amaechi and his co-defendants “sometime between 2011 and 2012 at Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Division of the High Court of Rivers State did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to stealing the sum of $274,563,599.59”.
The document said the money was a proceed from the sale of 70 per cent equity held by the Rivers State Government in the power generation asset at Omoku Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine and Afam Gas Turbine Phase 1 to NG Powers-HPS Limited.
In count two, the state alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within the same period “stole the same amount of money being proceeds from the sale of 70 per cent equity belonging to her in the power generation assets at Omoku, Trans-Amadi, Eleme and Afam Gas turbines.”
Also in count three, the state alleged that Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG-Powers-HPS Limited within the same period with intent to cheat, agreed to buy from Rivers Government 70 per cent equity held by the state in the power generation assets in the four turbines in the sum of $302,960,000.
The state said the companies actually took possession, management and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59USD, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000 due to the state.
In the next count, the state alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within 2011 and 2012 conspired by fraudulent means to affect the market price of the four power generation assets of Rivers.
She said the defendants offered the assets for sale exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy Resources Limited) and Tonye Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 52 (3) of Rivers State public procurement law number 4 of 2008.
The state further in count five alleged that Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited and Cole within the same period “did conspire by fraudulent means to affect the market price of Olympia Hotel Port Harcourt by offering the said Olympia Hotel Port Harcourt for concession exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited and Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy) and Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 60 (1) of Rivers State Public Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Law, number 5 of 2009”.
In Count six, the government claimed that Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten and Cole conspired among themselves to commit felony by stealing $1million being concession fee the defending companies paid to the Rivers State Government for the concession of the Olympia Hotel for a period of 40 years.
The state in count eight alleged that Amaechi and Sahara Energy about December 1, 2014 conspired among themselves to commit felony by stealing the sum of $53,095,602.05 from Rivers Government dollar account number 0064809429 with Access Bank, Bank Road Branch, Port Harcourt.
The offences were said to be contrary to Sections 421, 422, 516A, and 383 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.
The charge sheet was signed by C.F. Amadi, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the Attorney-General of Rivers State.