Senator Seriake Dickson, former governor of Bayelsa State has explained why he was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFFC on Tuesday.

Dickson, who has been allowed to return home by operatives of the anti-graft agency also explained what he told the interrogators of the anti-graft agency in a statement he released after leaving the custody of EFCC.

The Publisher Nigeria exclusively gathered that the former governor said he was invited based on petition filed by an NGO on his family business and alleged diversion of funds donated for control of flood in Bayelsa State while he was governor.

However, Dickson said he told the EFCC investigators that his family investments, Seriake Dickson Trust Incorporated were made between 1996 and 2012 before he became Governor.

He added that he has repeatedly declared ownership of the assets since he first contested for House of Representatives in 2012 and senate in 2020.

“These investments were funded by loans and advances and repaid from salaries, allowances, savings, and others. One of them is still on mortgage and I have made these documents available to the EFCC.

“These investments were declared in my assets declaration form at the House of Reps in 2011; my Governorship form in 2012, 2016, 2020 after I left office and the Senate Assets declaration form this year.”

On the alleged diversion of flood funds totaling N17.5 billion for his re-election in 2019, Dickson said there was no such donation about the 2012 flood in Bayelsa.

He added that those who wrote the petition did also not give the name of the donor while he was not involved in the contest for Bayelsa election.

“Curiously, there was no mention of donor or where the money came from. There was also no re-election for governorship in Bayelsa in 2019 which are clear proof that the petition was totally frivolous.

“The commission after looking into these allegations has since asked me to return home on self-recognition,” the former Governor said.

Alleged Fraud: Dickson Reveals Details Of What He Told EFCC On Petitions Against Him

Read his full statement below

MY FAMILY ASSETS WERE ACQUIRED IN 2007 WITH LOANS

…REPEATED DECLARATIONS MADE TO CCB BEFORE I BECAME GOV – DICKSON

… SAYS PETITION WAS FRIVOLOUS

About two weeks ago I received an invitation from the EFCC to clarify some issues relating to assets declarations as alleged by an NGO.

On account of our busy schedule at the time, I wrote to inform them and we agreed to reschedule the interview for today.

As a law-abiding citizen and with a lifelong commitment to supporting Law enforcement and security agencies, I honored the invitation today as rescheduled. I understand that the subject matter of the inquiry relates to investments of my family trust, which I incorporated while being a member of the House of Reps to hold my family assets and investments which were made between 2007 and 2012 before I became Governor.

I understand that there is a petition from an NGO alleging that these investments (largely buildings, plots, farms, etc in my village, Orua, Yenagoa, and two buy-to-let houses in the UK) were not declared. I have a duty to clarify these issues with the investigating authorities who by law have the responsibility to inquire into these matters.

However, for the avoidance of doubts, let me state that my family investments, Seriake Dickson Trust Incorporated were made between 1996 and 2012 before I became Governor.

These investments were funded by loans and advances and repaid from salaries, allowances, savings, and others. One of them is still on mortgage and I have made these documents available to the EFCC.

These investments were declared in my assets declaration form at the House of Reps in 2011; my Governorship form in 2012, 2016, 2020 after I left office, and the Senate Assets declaration form this year.

I went beyond these declarations and wrote several letters to the appropriate agencies, copies of which have been made available to the EFCC. My trust and I subscribed to the federal government Voluntary Assets Income AND Declaration Scheme (VAIDES) and also paid the necessary taxes.

As a result of blackmail from some quarters, the Trust and I went to the Federal High Court where there is a subsisting judgment declaring that no Nigerian law is breached by a public officer who takes loans and other verifiable avenues to make investments for his family provided these are declared.

It should be on record that I have resigned from the Trust Administration since 2011 before I became Governor.

My solicitors and those of the trust have written to the EFCC to clarify these issues with the accompanying documents.

However, on getting to the commission, the investigating team came up with a new allegation of diversion of flood funds in 2012 totaling N17.5 billion. The petition further alleged that the money was used for my re-election in 2019. The fact is that there was no such donation about the 2012 flood in Bayelsa.

Curiously, there was no mention of donor or where the money came from. There was also no re-election for governorship in Bayelsa in 2019 which are clear proof that the petition was totally frivolous.

The commission after looking into these allegations has since asked me to return home on self-recognition.

I have authorized this statement to be released for the avoidance of any misinformation.

Senator Henry Seriake Dickson
Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly

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