Former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi Responds to Questions from Civil Liberties Organisation via Affidavit at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Close to the 2017 Anambra gubernatorial election, a lot of controversies arose with respect to what former Governor Peter Obi handed over to his successor, Governor Willie Obiano. On the heels of the accusations and counter-claims, the South-East chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) posed certain questions to both Governor Obiano and his predecessor, Governor Obi.

In responding to the questions, Mr Peter Obi swore an affidavit of facts at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, solidifying his claims as to be the truth and nothing but the truth. This is interesting because this affidavit would have exposed him to serious legal consequences if he had lied about any of the facts on the affidavit. No Governor in the history of Nigeria has ever done this. Read the said affidavit below.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA HOLDEN AT ABUJA.
AFFIDAVIT OF FACTS BY MR. PETER OBI, CON, FORMERLY GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, IN RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONS POSED BY THE CIVIL LIBERTIES ORGANISATION, CLO, SOUTH EAST CHAPTER AS CONTAINED IN VARIOUS MEDIA PUBLICATIONS INCLUDING THAT IN THISDAY ISSUE OF 19TH SEPTEMBER, 2017.
I, MR. PETER OBI, CON, adult, male, christian, a Nigerian citizen of 22 Niger Drive, G.R.A Onitsha Anambra State, do hereby make oath and say as follows:
1. My attention has been drawn to different media publications containing questions stated to be posed by the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, South East Chapter bordering on my alleged activities/stewardship as the All Progressives Grand Alliance Governor of Anambra State and with the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State as well as alleged financial improprieties.
2. Since I left office as the Governor of Anambra State on March 17, 2014, I chose not to be keen on replying to issues about my person as I believe those are part of the expectations of service in the public space. However, such issues that border on my integrity and coming from a recognized entity/organization definitely require reply since they revolve around public trust. In view of the trust reposed in me by the public, which I hold dear, I have, therefore, chosen to respond to the recent publications by the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, South East Chapter including that in the Thisday Newspaper publication of Tuesday September 19, 2017 (hereinafter attached as EXHIBIT 1) in the manner stated below.
ECOLOGICAL FUND
3. Item 1 questioned the whereabouts of the N2 billion received from the Federal Government Ecological Fund while I was in office. This fund was received about six months to my leaving office. I had taken a position with my colleagues in government that since we were finishing strong in our vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, we would ensure that the incoming government equally started strong in order to build on already achieved results as well as effectively embrace the coming Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. One of the major visions of MDGs being ensuring environmental sustainability, which includes appropriately tackling erosion, we decided to leave the money for the incoming government to ensure that the continuity promised started on a solid footing.
WE, THEREFORE, SET ASIDE IN ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNT, FIRST BANK ACCOUNT NO. 2018779464 THE SUM OF N2, 139, 951, 400.00 ( TWO BILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-NINE MILLION, NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-ONE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED NAIRA) as at March 17, 2014, being the proceeds of the N2 billion of the Federal Government Ecological Fund plus the accrued interest on the amount.
SURE –P (SUBSIDY ACCOUNT)
4. As stated in Item No. 1 in paragraph 3 above, as our government was running under a healthy financial stability and meeting up with its monthly financial obligations without any problem, we decided that all State receipts under Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, be set aside for future infrastructural development. We intended that this future infrastructural development would be carried out under the SDGs vision, which included providing clean and healthy water in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi. THUS ALL THE STATE GOVERNMENT RECEIPTS FROM SURE-P WERE SET ASIDE IN ANAMBRA SUBSIDY ACCOUNT SAVINGS FUND IN DIAMOND BANK ACCOUNT NO. 0026290200 THE SUM OF N4, 909, 576, 925.98 (FOUR BILLION, NINE HUNDRED AND NINE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE NAIRA AND NINETY-EIGHT KOBO) as at march 17, 2014.
UBEC ACCOUNT
5. Following our vision of MDGs in which one of the most critical goals is Education, and with our strong belief that the greatest investment a society can make is in education, especially Universal Basic Education, it became imperative that we ensured that our educational system is adequately funded, especially after handing over schools to the missionaries. We also believed that the more there is investment in education, the more prosperous the society can become. TO ENSURE THE CONTINUOUS ACHIEVEMENTS IN THIS DIRECTION, WE HAD IN UBEC MATCHING GRANT DIAMOND BANK ACCOUNT NO. 0023484282 A TOTAL OF N1, 782, 568, 032.24 (ONE BILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-TWO MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT THOUSAND, THIRTY-TWO NAIRA AND TWENTY-FOUR KOBO) AS ATDATE OF LEAVING OFFICE ON MARCH 17, 2014 TO MEET THE REMAINING MONTHS (APRIL TO DECEMBER) OF OUR 2014 EDUCATIONAL OBLIGATIONS.
ADDITIONALLY, WE SET ASIDE, TO MEET UP OUR EDUCATIONAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE YEAR 2015(JANUARY TO DECEMBER), IN UBEC MATCHING GRANT DIAMOND BANK ACCOUNT NO.0031151473 A TOTAL OF N2, 101,864,766.68(TWO BILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND ONE MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FOUR THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX NAIRA AND SIXTY-EIGHT KOBO).
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs) ACCOUNT
6. On the issue of set-aside fund of N4 billion for MDGs projects, especially secondary school education and hospitals like schools and hospitals (especially those of missionaries); as at March 17, 2014 when I left office, WE HAD A SET-ASIDE FUND IN PERMANENT SECRETARY GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT, FIDELITY BANK NO. 5030047097 THE AMOUNT– N3,048,355,196.79 (THREE BILLION, FORTY-EIGHT MILLION, THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-SIX NAIRA AND SEVENTY-NINE KOBO). This was mainly to cover the N10 million capital vote to each of the 250 secondary schools and the balance to meet up our obligations to the missionary hospitals viz: Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi (including School of Midwifery and School of Nursing); St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha(including School of Nursing); Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha(including School of Midwifery); Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala(including school of Nursing, Midwifery and Laboratory Technology); St. Joseph’s Hospital, Adazi Nnukwu(including School of Nursing and School of Midwifery); Diocesan Hospital, Amichi(including School of Nursing) and so on.
Further, to assist the Local Government Areas to meet up with delivery of their programmes for the year 2014, WE SET ASIDE IN OUR MDGS CGS TO LOCAL GOVT FIDELITY BANK ACCOUNT NOS. 5030042724, 5030042731, 5030042748, 5030042755, 5030042762, 5030042717 THE AMOUNT – N199, 024, 262.09 EACH, TOTALING N1,194,145,572.54 (ONE BILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-TWO NAIRA AND FIFTY-FOUR KOBO) as at March 17, 2014. Summing up, total amount of money set aside in the MDGs account as at March 17, 2017 amounted to N3,048,355,196.79 plusN1,194,145,572.54 = N4,242,500,769.33 (FOUR BILLION,TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINE NAIRA AND THIRTY-THREE KOBO).
75 BILLION HANDED OVER
7.​ On the issue of N75 billion left in cash and investments, let me reinstate that this is absolutely ​correct, properly documented and can be scrutinized by anybody that wishes to do so.
​However, the CLO’s question is on the 156 million dollars in denominated bonds, which is ​today valued at about $200 million dollars(over N70 billion), said to have been left or ​invested. On this I wish to state categorically that the amount of 156 million dollars being ​future savings for and on behalf of Anambra State was made as follows;
​a. WITH FIDELITY BANK PLC – $ 56 MILLION
​b. WITH DIAMOND BANK PLC – $50 MILLION
​c. WITH ACCESS BANK PLC – $50 MILLION.
​And I want to state at this point that those funds, being long-term investments backed by ​law, if they are still available in the banks, and I earnestly wish they are, presently should be​worth about $200 MILLION as stated in the CLO inquiry.
​The reasoning behind saving in Foreign Currency was necessitated by a number of issues as ​follows;
​a. ​After our study of the Chinese phenomenal achievements as we were coming to the ​​end of MDGs, we learned that the Chinese Regional governments were able to attract ​​a number of ​investments because of the ability to contribute or partner with the ​​investors in setting up productive facilities within their regions. For example, some of ​​them effectively made equity contributions of 10 – 20 %, which they were able ​​​to achieve due to their robust savings.
​So, our calculation was that if the state would be able to save a particular amount ($18 – 20 ​million dollars) as we did in eight years, up until 2030 at the average interest rate of a little ​over 6%, we would be able to achieve about a billion dollars in savings and earnings. We ​would then use about 50% of this amount to attract investment, considering that the average ​Chinese Small and Medium scale Enterprise, SME, for example, was set up with about two ​million ​dollars. Our goal was that if we would be able to invest 25% in each enterprise, which ​is $500,000, we would be able to achieve 1000 SMEs facilities scattered all over Anambra ​State, which would jump start aggressive economic growth within the state, especially as ​income from oil is coming to an end.
​b. Additionally, we were seeking a 40-year non-interest loan of $120 million from the ​World ​Bank, especially targeted at supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and ​Mathematics ​(STEM) education and tackling our devastating erosion problem. The idea of ​$40 million education loan was hatched based on the United Nations report that there ​would be about 20 million jobs vacancies in the fields related to STEM studies by the year ​2020, and having critically observed our solid achievements in education, the World Bank ​readily agreed to provide this facility while the $80 million was to ​effectively tackle the ​erosion menace around the state.
​Even though the World Bank approved the $40 million dollars for Education and initial $40 ​million for erosion, my administration did not draw down from it. These facilities were to kick ​start with the incoming government and we were certain that savings in foreign currency ​would help the state in meeting up with her obligations of payment without any impediment ​to her financial stability. This is because we would have so much still left after meeting with ​the obligations.
​Since we are going to pay this money in the future, we carefully projected and started saving. ​Because we are going to earn a billion dollars by the time the loan matures; $500 million will ​go to these SMEs, $200 million will go to others, $300 million will be left. Everything being ​equal, by 2050, we will be hitting almost $2 Billion. Meanwhile, we have 1,000 SMEs out ​there, of which about 80% of them would survive, and if they do, shall be producing for ​export that would change the state.
​Unfortunately, we live in a system where people do not think about tomorrow and do not ​plan for future generations but would prefer to obliterate accumulated income and put the ​state in debt before exiting office.
SECURITY VOTES
8. ​I was shocked and very disturbed by the amount of money I was allegedly supposed to have ​claimed as Security Votes for myself and my dear wife. Let me categorically state as follows:
a. Upon assuming office, I scrapped the office of the First Lady as I believed it was and still is illegal and unconstitutional.
b. Never at any time did Anambra State Government pay my wife any dime for any form of Security Vote or any cost of running a non-existent office.
c. She was only there supporting our Government in any capacity she could without any recourse to public funds.
d. On my part, when I started, I was told that I was entitled to Security Votes of any amount that I could wish and that it was NOT ACCOUNTABLE and the issue of a billion Naira was touted.
e. Even though there were lots of security issues when I started, I insisted that such votes should not be more than 5% of our annual budget; should not be more than allocated to any of education, health and road infrastructure; and MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE AND EXPLAINABLE, if need be.
9. ​From the calculation based on the CLO allegation, I was supposed to have taken from the ​coffers of Anambra State, a staggering N115 billion between me and my wife! LET ME ​CATEGORICALLY STATE THAT IN ALL THE EIGHT YEARS OF MY BEING IN OFFICE FROM 2006, ​WHICH INCLUDES THREE MONTHS OF DR. CHRIS NGIGE (JANUARY TO MARCH OF 2006), ​THREE MONTHS OF DAME VIRGY ETIABA AS GOVERNOR, TWO WEEKS OF SENATOR ANDY ​UBA AS GOVERNOR, TILL I LEFT OFFICE ON MARCH 17, 2014, THE ENTIRE SECURITY VOTES ​EXPENDITURE IS UNDER N25 BILLION, WHICH IS ABOUT N260 MILLION PER MONTH. ​ADDITIONALLY, THIS EXPENDITURE INCLUDESTHE RESOURCES USED IN PURCHASING OVER ​500 VEHICLES FOR SECURITY AGENCIES, INCLUDING ALL THE ARMOURED VEHICLES THE ​STATE HAS TILL DATE; REBUILDING OF THE POLICE HEADQUARTERS INCLUDING THE SARS ​OFFICE; VARIOUS POLICE CONSTRUCTIONS; CONSTRUCTIONS AT THE ARMY BARRACKS; SO ​MANY OTHER ITEMS WITH THE APPROVAL OF EXCO, INCLUDING PAYING ONE MILLION ​NAIRA EACH TO OVER 500 FIRST CLASS GRADUATES OF ANAMBRA STATE ORIGIN; MONEYS ​THAT WERE PAID TO THE SECURITY AGENTS DURING THREE MAJOR ELECTIONS WHILE I WAS ​IN OFFICE.
Further, I can account for this expenditure even when the law says it should not be accounted for. So, for me, it would have been criminal and abuse of public trust to have collected the amount so stated.
VEGETABLE EXPORT
10. ​​On this issue, I can’t remember any time during my eight years in office that I ever mentioned ​any issue regarding exports. So, I cannot make comments on this.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS
11. ​I have always maintained that businesses are beginning to come back to Anambra State and ​so many productive facilities are being established and operational. At the last count before I ​left office, it was over a billion Dollars’ worth and I wish to mention some of them, which I laid ​the foundations for and equally commissioned or invited the then Nigeria’s President to ​commission –
a. INTAFACT BREWERIES (SABMILLER)INONITSHA, WHICH I LAID THE FOUNDATION AND WAS COMMISSIONED BY PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN – TODAY VALUED AT $600 MILLION.
b. INNOSON VEHICLE MANUFACTURING IN NNEWI, WHICH I LAID THE FOUNDATION AND TODAY VALUED AT $200 MILLION.
c. ORANGE DRUGS FACILITY, ONITSHA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE( VALUED AT OVER $100 MILLION)
d. GOLDEN OIL, ONITSHA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE(VALUED AT OVER $100 MILLION)
e. KRISORAL, ONITSHA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE( VALUED AT OVER $100 MILLION)
f. UAC FEEDS, ONITSHA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE ( VALUED AT OVER $100 MILLION)
g. And some others.
In addition, my administration resuscitated the Onitsha Industrial base by asphalting about 20 Kilometers of road within the entire facilities and Ogbaru environs.
FG CONTRACT REFUNDS
12. ​I state categorically that we ensured that we obtained the permission of the Federal ​Government of Nigeria for purposes of refund before embarking on the critical federal road ​projects which were:
a. BRIDGE HEAD, ONITSHA THROUGH TO UPPER IWEKA;
b. UPPER IWEKA TO ZIK’S ROUNDABOUT THROUGH TO NKPOR AND TO UMUNYA;
c. SIMILARLY, FROM AMANSEA TO AMAWBIA.
For me, making certain of the refunds is critical to ensure that the scarce resources of Anambra State are not wasted. And part of the money was refunded before I left office in March, 2014 while the balance was due to be refunded to the incoming government as part of the continuity.
ISSUE OF GODFATHERISM
13. ​​I did not at any time, in my eight years in office, try to interfere with the work of any ​appointed Commissioner in Anambra State or Local Government Chairman in the State. None ​of the Commissioners or Chairmen can say that I ever appointed a driver or recommended for ​appointment any of the members of staff in their various offices. None of them can equally ​say that they ever purchased anything, even a bottle of mineral for me. On the part of the ​incumbent Governor, I have never recommended any aide to him except that when I was ​leaving office, I did mention to him that since we had performed reasonably well with MDGs, ​being the best State in implementation of the goals in the country, and about to start the ​Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, that it would require that he worked with some of ​those that were in charge of this vision. These included –
a. Secretary to State Government, SSG, His Honour, OselokaObaze, who had come from the United Nations with the background of MDGs and had assisted in designing and mainstreaming these goals into our planning, budgeting and execution.
b. Professor Stella Okunna, who was my Chief of Staff and in charge of our good governance and MDGs implementation.
c. Mrs. Vivian Nwandu, who was our Special Adviser on MDGs.
d. Commissioner Calistus Ilozumba, who was in charge of our massive rural road construction.
e. Commissioner Azuka Enemuo,who was in charge of all the Local Governments.
These names were suggested so that they would effectively assist the incoming Governor in learning the processes of government as he was just coming from outside. They would equally assist him in streamlining his new government seamlessly into the MDGs and subsequently the SDGs framework. Even when each and everyone of them severally desired to resign from the new government as they felt that the main thrust(MDGs) of our governance had been abandoned, I pleaded with them not to do so, rather that they should stay on and keep reminding the Governor of the need to be on that path of MDGs to run into SDGs as his election was based on continuity of those programmes and those programmes would make him excel like the government he took over from. They continued to heed my advice until it became totally impossible, leading to the resignation of all five.
So as at today, not even a driver, cook, or any other aide is serving in this government based on my recommendation. Therefore, to claim that I have recommended 30% of the 1000 aides working in this present Government of Anambra State is false, malicious and part of the things meant to destroy my person.
7 BILLION CAMPAIGN FUND
14. ​​I categorically state that never at any time during our campaign for candidate Dr. Willie ​Obiano and subsequently Governor Willie Obiano did I spend a kobo on his behalf. Whatever ​was spent for his campaign was done by him and his campaign team. All campaign donations ​were made directly to him, his team or his campaign account. And never at any time did I ​discuss any payment with him, talk less of asking for N7 billion.
In December, 2016 being the first time since I left office Governor Willie Obiano was visiting me, he came in company of a Bishop who was keen on reconciliation. The main question I asked him was, ‘’People are saying that I’m demanding from you to be paid N7 billion, when did I?’’ Before the reverred man of God the Governor responded that he never said so, that he was equally hearing it as I was. But subsequently it turned out a deliberate ploy because he allowed such falsehood to be aired on Anambra State Broadcasting Service, which he is the custodian.
15. ​Those who are alleging that I am demanding N7 billion have never deemed it necessary to ​question why after eight years of giving my all in services to the State, my State Government ​of Governor Obiano has not bothered to pay me severance and other allowances ​constitutionally due to me for nearly four years. Not even a bicycle have I received from the ​same Government. Whenever my name gets mentioned in government circles, it has always ​been to derogate my person. However, I continue to pray for the good of the Government of ​my dear State as governance is about the people. In calling all sorts of names in order to ​blackmail or bring my person to question, let me make another categorical statement – since ​inception of the country, Nigeria, no Governor has left the amount of money I left behind ​while leaving office.
As at the day I left office, I wasn’t owing any contractor on certificates for jobs that were executed. I wasn’t owing any supplier of goods on certificates for goods that had been delivered, including over 1000 vehicles from Innoson, over 500 vehicles from Coscharis and Legacy Autos and others. I was not owing any State Government staff salary, pension or gratuity. Any payment of which the cheque was issued was properly cash-backed. Yet, I had over N27 billion in investments, over N28 billion cash in banks and $156 million in foreign denominated bonds. All these I was not forced or requested to save by anybody or the Constitution. Even the Constitution of our country does not provide for savings.
16. ​TRULY, IF MY DESIRE WAS FOR N7 BILLION, I WOULD HAVE TAKEN SUCH WHILE STILL ​LEAVING OVER N70 BILLION BEHIND. SO, I HAVE NEVER DEMANDED FOR SUCH MONEY. BY ​THE GRACE OF GOD, I HAD ENOUGH TO MEET MY FEW NEEDS BEFORE I VOLUNTEERED TO ​COME AND SERVE MY STATE. SO, I DID NOT GO INTO GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MONEY.
Additionally, I have not and will NEVER make any personal demand from anybody while offering any form of support into any public office beside the common goal of good and people-oriented leadership, as I strongly believe that if I did, it would amount to the highest betrayal of public trust and recourse to public funds.
17. Let me further state that on the issue of Godfatherism, there is nothing wrong in having somebody who has helped you to be what you are, guided you and been there with you. I had a Godfather. Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu of blessed memory was there for me. Even though he did not urge me to declare interest or invite me to come and contest, he supported me when I came out to campaign and went round the State campaigning with me. When I won the election, I ensured he was adequately respected, listened to, given his honour and supported him all through. When he took ill, I ensured he had the best of treatments, which I single-handedly paid for without complaining. I thank the Almighty God for allowing me to be part of him and his gracious support to me.
When God decided to call him, I ensured that he had a befitting burial. I ensured that one of the most important roads, the entrance into Anambra State, from Bridge Head to Upper Iweka, was duly reconstructed, named after him as well as erected his giant statue at that entrance. I ensured that our State University, a university that denied him a Doctorate Degree(Honoris Causa) after so nominating him, was named after him. Above all, I stood by his family till I left office. May God Almighty continue to grant him eternal rest and bless his family for what he was to me and to the people of Anambra State. May God never allow me and my children to live a life of ingratitude to whoever helped us, no matter how little that help may be.
UMUERI AIRPORT PROJECT
18. ​My only involvement in this Airport Project was in acquiring the land from Umueri and paying ​compensation while working with Orient Petroleum. But when we re-assessed it and found it ​a bad investment that could not subsequently recover the investment for over 1000 years ​even without interest, we decided to withdraw interest in the project, especially after the ​Ministry of Aviation declined our permission for the project. I am sure that Aviation ​Ministry’s stance remains so till date. So, I have no further comments since I wasnot truly ​involved.
19. ​Having answered the questions posed by the Organisation, may I use this opportunity to ​thank the CLO, South East Chapter for their questions and urge them not to limit the exercise ​to just myself and my successor but to also extend same to other Governors of the Region ​and their counterparts in other regions of the country as Governors of Nigeria and future ​ones since what is required today is to improve the leadership quality of our country.
20. ​Hereto delivered and marked as Exhibit 1 is page 26 of Thisday Newspaper publication of ​Tuesday 19th September, 2017.
1. I, the said MR. PETER OBI, CON, do solemnly make this oath conscientiously believing the contents to be true and correct to the best of my knowledge and in accordance with the Oaths Act.
___________
D E P O N E N T
Sworn to at the Supreme Court Registry, Abuja
this day of , 2017
BEFORE ME
______________________
COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS.

 

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