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Rivers State eventually dismissed nine counts of theft, cheating and conspiracy against former Governor Rotimi Amaechi in a bold move to bring charges against the former transportation minister.
It was then that the presiding judge in charge of the case, Judge David Gbasam, ordered substituted service of the accused yesterday.
In a complaint marked as PHC/1818/CR/2022, filed June 7, the state also listed All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate Arch Tonye Cole, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited as Amaechi’s co-defendants.
The offenses of Amaechi and the co-accused were listed in the indictment, in Port Harcourt.
In the first count, the state said that Amaechi and his co-accused “between 2011 and 2012 in Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Division of the Rivers State High Court conspired between you to commit a crime by stealing the sum of $274,563,599.59”.
The document said the money came from the sale of the Rivers State Government’s 70% equity stake in the power generation assets of Omoku Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine and Afam Gas Turbine Phase 1. to NG Powers-HPS Limited.
In the second count, the state alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants during the same period “stole the same amount of money from the sale of 70% of the shares owned by him in the production assets electricity from Omoku, Trans-Amadi, Eleme and Afam gas turbines.
The State, in Count Three, said Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG-Powers-HPS Limited during the same period with intent to cheat, agreed to purchase from the State Government of Rivers 70% state-owned equity in the four turbine power generation assets. for the sum of $302,960,000.
The state said the companies effectively took possession, management and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000. $ owed to the state.
In the next count, the state alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants in 2011 and 2012 conspired by fraudulent means to affect the market price of Rivers State’s four power generation assets.
She said the defendants had offered the sale of the assets exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy Resources Limited) and Tonye Cole (director) instead of resorting to a planned open tender. in Section 52(3) of the Rivers State Public Procurement Act Number 4 of 2008.
The State further, in Count Five, alleged that Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited and Cole during the same period “conspired by fraudulent means to affect the market price of the ‘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) in lieu of prescribed open tender under Section 60(1) of the Rivers State Public-Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Act, Number 5 of 2009”.
The Rivers State government, also in count six, accused Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten and Cole of conspiring with each other to commit a crime by stealing $1 million as a concession fee which the defending companies paid the Rivers State government for the concession of the Olympia Hotel for a period. 40 years old.
The State, in Count Eight, alleged that Amaechi and Sahara Energy around December 1, 2014 conspired with each other to commit a crime by stealing the sum of $53,095,602.05 from the government’s USD account. Rivers number 0064809429 from Access Bank, Bank Road Branch, Port Harcourt.
The offenses would have been contrary to sections 421, 422, 516A and 383 of the Penal Code, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.
The indictment was signed by Director of Public Prosecutions, CF Amadi, for the Rivers State Attorney General.
The Rivers State High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, yesterday ordered substituted service of former transport minister Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi in connection with the nine counts of theft, conspiracy and of cheating brought against him by the Rivers State government.
The court also ruled that Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate Arch Tonye Cole, Dr Chamberlain Peterside, Sir Augustine Wokocha, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Powers-HPS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited, tried alongside Amaechi, should be served by substitute means.
The State had brought criminal proceedings against the defendants alleging, among other things, that Sahara Energy Resources Limited, owned by Cole and NG-Powers-HPS Limited between 2011 and 2012, with intent to cheat, had agreed to purchase from Rivers State Government 70% state owned power generation assets in the four turbines for the sum of $302,960,000.
The state said the companies effectively took possession, management and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000. $ owed to the state.
The presiding judge, Judge David Gbasam, varied an order for substituted service that he issued on June 17 following an ex parte motion filed by the prosecutor, CF Amadi, on June 20.
Granting the prayers of the prosecutor, Gbasam replaced ThisDay newspaper and Vanguard newspaper with The Guardian newspaper and The Nation newspaper.
He granted the prosecution leave to serve the informations and other criminal process, charge number: PHC/1818/CR/2022 on all defendants in both newspapers.
“An order is also made considering the publication of the information and other processes in these proceedings in The Guardian newspaper and The Nation newspaper as good and proper service,” he said.
He adjourned the case to July 12 for pleas.

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