By Ikenna Anyanwu
Contrary to speculations that the case of recent recovery of a whooping sum of N250 million in cash in a private office of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State in Apapa, Lagos by eagle-eyed policemen in Lagos has been rested, indications emerged over the week that Police authorities in Abuja have commenced thorough investigations into the matter.
This is just as untold details of the circumstances that led to the strange discovery and the role played by all the parties involved including the Police were unfolded by reliable police sources at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that on the said day, which was Sunday, Police authorities in Lagos received information from one of the aides to Governor Peter Obi that a huge sum of money was been conveyed to the Governorâ€™s private company at Aerodrome road in Apapa, Lagos.
Based on this, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Marvel Akpoyibo led some of his officers including the Area Commander in Apapa and they stormed the company.
Police sources said on getting to the scene, they saw the exotic jeeps that transported the money which were arraigned in suit cases inside the premises.
The Police reportedly instructed one of the aids to the Governor who was seen there to inform the Governor of their intention to inspect the vehicles.Â Â At this juncture, according to reports, the Governor instructed his aides not to open the vehicles until he comes to Lagos.
As soon as the Commissioner of Police was informed of the Governorâ€™s directive, he reportedly deployed policemen to guard the vehicles until the arrival of the Governor.
That Sunday, at about 2.30 pm, both the Commissioner of Police and Governor Obi arrived the scene with their entourage and the Police Commissioner insisted that the vehicles must be thoroughly searched in the presence of everybody because the information received was a case of arms and ammunition being stockpiled for the 2010 election in Anambra State.
Governor Obi who was reportedly not comfortable with the Commissionerâ€˜s directive was said to had capitulated by directing his aids to open the vehicle and this led to the discovery of the whooping sum of N250 million. Saturday Vanguard learnt that at this stage, the Commissioner of police quickly alerted the Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro who directed that the Governor should make a statement over the discovery.
Sources said that in his statement, Governor Obi stated that the money found in the vehicles belongs to Anambra State and that it was meant for payment to one of their contractors who wanted cash.
It was gathered also that when the police asked Governor Obi why he should pay such a huge amount of money in cash instead of draft or cheque, the Governor could not give reasonable answer.
It was then that the Inspector~General of Police directed that the money should be paid back to Anambra State government account without delay.
On Monday the following day, both the Commissioner of Police and Governor Obi reportedly moved to Spring bank where the money was paid into Anambra State Government account and a photocopy of the deposit slip made and handed over to the Commissioner of Police.
Saturday Vanguard also learnt that what fueled police suspicion over the money was that they also got information that the Governor was billed to travel out of the country a week after the money was intercepted.
To worsen the speculation, Governor Obi reportedly traveled overseas after the incident.
It was at this stage that the Inspector~General of Police who was properly briefed on the incident directed the Force Criminal Investigations Department under Deputy Inspector~General of Police, Israel Ajao to take over the case and unravel the mystery surrounding the movement of the cash from Anambra State to Lagos.
The IGPâ€˜s directive was also said to have been prompted by the fact that the contractor whom Governor Obi claimed owns the money never showed up at all stages of the discovery and the fact that Lagos state Police CommandÂ preliminary investigations revealed a case of money laundering against the Governor.
So far, sources at the Force headquarters said detectives will soon conclude their investigations into the matter based on the fact that Police authorities vowed to get to the root of the case without fear or favor.