How Chimaroke And Dan Shere Stole US$552m Belonging To Enugu State
Enugu State is one of the states with least federal allocation in Nigeria irrespective of the fact that Coal remains largely deposited under its soils. The idea of utilizing the coal deposit may remain a pipe dream so long the Nigerian Government
continues to lay national claim to all deposits in the country. This ugly claim was conceived and enshrined by the Northern Nigeria political oligarchy that held Nigeria to the jugulars for over 40 years of the national life.
However, in all these shortcomings, Enugu State continued to survive believing monthly on the meager stipend that comes from Abuja. Other means of its survival is through agriculture which would be said to be receiving some level of attention presently. Other than agriculture, the state cannot boast of any other means to sustain her livelihood.
During the time of Jim Nwobodo, he was able to achieve remarkably as Governor by establishing several landmarks within his Anambra State, which now is split into Anambra and Enugu States. One would be tempted to ask how he was able to achieve that when indeed there were also minimal natural resources or internal revenue generation from within the State than the monthly allocation from the Federal Government. Comparing to what is on the ground today, one would argue on the fact that the Dollar Naira exchange in those days was 1:3; but the effort to maximize the advantage should be of paramount importance to any student of Political-Economics. Comparatively, his ability to make use of the huge advantage offered by the Forex was a plus to the administration of Jim Nwobodo even in the presen ce of adverse confrontation by the then ruling NPN.
The dwindling adherence to the dictates of good conscience set in in 1984 when Babangida took over from Buhari and Enugu was not left out. The State's military administrations continued to serve their masters at the national level against the people they lead, hence the flight of Enugu resources to sustain the appetite of the ruling class. It was appalling that the same allocation that was approved from the national government returns to the same national government as loot. Successive State Military Administrators popularly called Milads, always left the State worse than they met it.
In 1992, when the then 3 rd Republic was nurtured, Dr. Okwy Nwodo, an Enugu man from Ukehe Nsukka, one of the sons of former politician, John Nnia Nwodo Sr, was propelled to govern the state after the efforts by his brother, Joe, was confronted by Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu (GNG) resulting that the two gladiators were disqualified from the race. Okwesilieze's ascendance was more of surprise than planned. Interestingly, like things never planned, he stepped in with a mind-set of rooting out the opposition, which resulted in planting more hate, acrimony and dist rust in the polity against himself and his clique. In fact he was not able to boast of any tangible project he completed within the short-lived administration of about 26 months when the military junta of Babangida struck again and the transition terminated. He went down to history as one of the worst indigenous governor ever produced in the South East Nigeria.
The Making of Chimaroke The journey and battle to control Enugu continued till in 1999 when the tide was clear for a new dispensation, it was a battle primarily between Jim Nwobodo and Nwodos, secondarily between Nsukka and Other-Enugu and tertiary between Hate and Not-Hate. In the end, Jim carried the day by delivering the State to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) beating hands down the All People's Party (APP) which the Nwodos were part of. History has it that the winner-takes-it-all attitude of Nigerian politics forced some of the Nwodos to join PDP as their continued stay in APP would deny them of the goodies and booty from politics.
In favor of the new order was Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani a former youth leader cum mobiliser for Jim during his reign as Governor of the old Anambra State. Records have it that in those days, Jim engaged Chimaroke (Chiboy) to mobilize, facilitate and if possible terrorize-to-succumb the youths of the state to his camp; armed with enough cash and clean Volkswagen Beetle car by Jim, the job was not difficult for Chiboy to achieve. He traversed the length and breadth of the State to deliver to his master. Most of the successes recorded by Jim in terms of grassroots mobilization were as a result of the crude and audacious tactics of Chiboy. So, those wondering where-come the wicked tactics of his Ebano should study history!
Chiboy was one of the many young men, fresh from the US that were mingling around Jim for positions during the 1999 political experience. His case was even peculiar as he normally chose to lie on the floor in Jim's sitting-room-for-the-boys when others will prefer the comfort of the beds. At several occasions Jim's wife, who could read between lines had confronted her husband that 'this boy called Chi-boy'' is not good and that he must be very careful with him. Unknown, as Jim would discover sooner than he thought, his wife was damn right! Jim chose Chimaroke over others for the governorship. In the course of the campaign, Chimaroke says nothing since he was a neophyte as far as Enugu political game was concerned. Jim says everything. The people listens to Jim because they know him…they love him…and they believe him because he had delivered before therefore whoever he presents will be worth the onion. Again the people were damn wrong! As Chiboy took reign, tormented by an unstable mental health which was later confirmed to be spiritually motivated in his family, he took to extreme oddness that the people began to ask, where is Jim? Unfortunately, Jim was nowhere to be found. Anguish, pain, sadness, confusion and frustration overshadowed the State.
The Making of Ebano -the infamous The case of Chimaroke was typical of Rehoboam, a direct son of a wise and godly father (in this case is Jim) became foolish and evil (II Chr. 10). Like Rehoboam, Chiboy rejected the counsel of the old men; instead he chose that of young men with little knowledge of history. It is said that he that doesn't know where he is coming from will not know where he is going. Armed with every apparatus of the State closely guided by the Abuja-might, Chiboy took on the people that made him even when they never took on him. He pursued those that crowned him even when they never demanded his crown. He attacked those that lifted him even when they never attacked him.
In order to achieve his goals, he had to disorganize Jim's structure and every other perceived political structure in the State to erect his own and called it Ebeano. He needed a hierarchy that must be absolutely loyal to him. The Ebeano machine, when fully operational became tool-of-valiant, maiming, destroying, uprooting, harassing, blackmailing, intimidating even molesting anything and everything that stands on its way. The only option for the elites was to take to their heels; they all went into exile including Jim the Kingmaker! Most of the run-aways are the same set of people that now are battling Sullivan over the progress of the State. Loyalty was the word in Ebano. Like in the Hitler's, you are either German or Christian, there was no White, Canadian, American or British, the Germans are the tall blond of the German and down-border Russians, any other cannot be German, therefore any other are infidels and must be removed now and at once, so was Ebano to Chiboy and the 12 inner-circle.
The Inner-Circle Among members of the inner circle was Dr. Dan Shere a medical doctor with little-to-desire-result from the University of Nigeria Enugu. Starting his political journey on the Ebano structure, he was installed as the Chairman of Nsukka local government for several terms. His stay in the post was better imagined than desired. Breathing from his eyes and seeing with his nose, he became a monster and beast to his people, crushing them to powder and nailing them to the altar of pain, sorrow, anguish and hopelessness. One would not expect less from a member of the Ebano inner circle.
During his reign as the Chairman, he refused to pay salaries to his staff for 9 whole months. One would wonder how the people were surviving, but that won't bother Dan, he would rather divert the funds to Ebano than take care of his staff. Dan Shere, a man of unknown-beginning, a high chief of Idi in Opi Nsukka, a man from a dysfunctional home with little appetite to-achieve was made Chairman by Chiboy. Presently the Chairman of Council (Chancellor) of the University of Port Harcourt River State, Dan's ascendance to this rank has become object of moral question after digging deep into his unrecorded resume. Dr. Shere rising from being the Chairman to Government House as the Secretary to the State Government, he aligned with Chiboy to craft a record breaking formula to milk a State.
Another member of the inner-circle was Sam Ejiofor, who stacked piles of Dollars notes belonging to Enugu State in a plastic tank stationed in his compound. This act mesmerized Chimaroke's argument later in EFCC that Enugu got only N52b from Abuja between 1999-2006. If his argument is anything to believe, where then did Ejiofor get the millions of dollars in the tank if it's not from the fraudulent and compulsory deductions from Local Government allocations? It's only a fool that will believe Chimaroke Nnamani as far as Enugu is concerned.
The Milking Machine -Marlum Construction Company To start - clean, the cabal had to register construction companies among wh ich were Marlum Construction Company, Olyton Nig. Limited and Traime Nig. limited. According to CAC's records, the two principals are never registrant to the document which means they opted for proxies. In a fraudulent fashion Marlum was awarded directly or indirectly approximately 90% of all the major construction works in Enugu among them were ESUT Teaching Hospital Park-lane, ESUT Permanent Site, Enugu Tunnel, the Enugu International Conference Center/s among others. Advanced payment orders were approved for Marlurm through Stop Orders which were placed on the monthly allocation of the State so that direct payments of ambiguous amount were paid into designated accounts of Marlum both home and abroad. It was a formula like never before. It continued insomuch that before the close of his reign in May 2007 they have siphon over US$ 552 m from the State. This is part of the money that Chimaroke used in building Rainbownet, Renaissance University, Mea Matter Schools, Cosmo FM, several estates within and outside the country, purchase of several plots in the unpopular zoo estate among others.
It is very evident that none of the projects said to be executed by Marlum are standing today because the motive was not to build for posterity rather for the pockets of the unseen masters. The argument in some quarters is that the projects were never meant to be completed within the life of Chimaroke's administration therefore Sullivan should have continued them to completion. However, little did the people know that records show that these projects have been paid for by the State and the monies already collected, so if Sullivan will have to complete them he will have to re-award the contracts and that would mean subjecting the State to another fund-lack that would thro w his government off - balance. So it would be fool-heady to channel funds to some of these projects without being sure of what happened before , in fact some views presently expressed is that these projects be sold to the public for them to be completed. How Sullivan and his team will respond to this line of thought is yet known to me.
Listed below are some of the projects and their completion stages as indicated by Igbonekwu Ogazimorah, Chimaroke's Information Commissioner, on Feb 1 2006:
Golf Course Estate : Almost Completed (no tag)
Enugu (Ebano Tunnel) : 97%
International Conference Center : 92%
International Conference Center : 72% (Somewhere he never mentioned)
162-Building ESUT permanent site complex : 94% Source: http://www.dawodu.com/enugu5.htm
He proceeded (maybe ignorantly) to say that Chimaroke has no link whatsoever in whatever form in the following businesses: Business Cost/Worth of Business at 2006 Rainbownet N7b Cosmo FM N400m Renaissance University N5b Capital City Autos N500m Mea Matter Schools N4b Trade fair estate N12b Agbani Palatial Home N8b Marlum Construction Company N10b Total Business Worth N46,9b (Source: - EFCC Nigeria:2006) $330m (current CBN Exchange 1$ = N142) $551m (2006 CBN Exhange: 1$ = N85) Source: Independent Agent from EFCC
But the ex-commissioner would not tell us why the EFCC is so convinced that Chimaroke actually own those businesses. But I can tell him that for the fact that the owners (based on CAC records) have persistently denied ownership of the businesses when interrogated by EFCC tells a lot and he MUST desist from thinking that Enugu people are fools that do not know and have access to classified information. It was actually surprising to discover the enormous wealth Ogazimorah acquired for himself during his time as Commissioner.
Perhaps, it will be honorable for both Chimaroke and EFCC to explain to the people of Enugu how and where Chimaroke got $551m within 7 years since he said the State only received N52b from federal allocations in the same period, above all we know he was a man of minute means before he became State Governor.
The Milking Formula The formula worked so well for the masters that the simplicity of the mechanism makes it almost impossible to be detected and the formula consists of the following steps: 1. The State advertises a project 2. Marlum or any of the other two companies stage-managed to secure it, 3. The State approves a Stop Order for the awardee (mostly Marlum) 4. Allocations come from Abuja, 5. Funds are automatically transferred to Marlum's accounts (local and foreign), 6. Marlum either shares the money among the masters locally or transfers overseas as counterpart dividend of work done(Such Monies are legal when returning to the country), 7. The money becomes private funds when off-shore, 8. The 'private' funds return to State as clean, 9. The 'clean money' is used by the 'clean master' to execute personal ('clean projects') in the State.
Some of such projects are the Rainbownet and Renaissance University and Mea Matter Schools. It will continue to be extremely difficult to trace all and the actual amount that was stolen from the State by this act but since the paper work involved will need a presidential order to review them . Nevertheless, the available explicit and implicit evidences indicate that it is well above the US$ 552 m traced so far.
To support my claim, Chimaroke said this: On funding, the governor said his government depended entirely on recycling overdrafts. What this means, he explained, is that whatever the state gets as its statutory allocation from the federation account every month, the government sets aside money for payment of workers' salaries and allowances, makes allowance for payment of subventions, warrants either in the form of donations, redemption of promises made by him or the government, travels by the governor and his staff and the running of the government house kitchen. Whatever remains after these deductions is paid in bulk to the contractor. It continues like that every month. 'We are going to recycle overdrafts until probably we leave office -Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani: 2006
I don't need a soothsayer to tell me that of the so-called N1.2b statutory allocation that comes to the State monthly, and the entire allocation of the 17 local government areas of the State and some excess crude allocations, according to the above statement by Chimaroke, it is evident that all he needed do is to deduct the gross overhead (State and LGA expenditure) and the balance goes to Marlum et al.
We must understand that the above statement was indeed the base-of-operations of Chimaroke for the entire second term that he occupied Lion Building. To sustain this 'looting-policy' there was need to place another confidant very close to him that would ensure the finishing of the 'private assignment'. Dr. Dan Shere, the ex-Chairman of Nsukka LGA and an infamous and unpopular Idi-Opi dissident was made the Secretary to the State Government. At the closing hours of his administration, Chimaroke in a subtle move to evade the EFCC hammer owing to the avalanche of evidences against him championed by late Chief CC Onoh, AKA Ananefungwu Wawa, claimed to be on medical check-up overseas, disappeared into thin air and in total breach of constitutional protocol, left Dan Shere in-charge of the State. That was why Shere was the one that managed the swearing-in of Sullivan on May 29 2007. Until he was forced to return 6 months after the swearing-in Chimaroke was a fugitive!
One may wonder how and why EFCC declared that Chimaroke is worth well over N50b! The answer is available. It was discovered that there were three main companies doing all major construction works in Enugu during the period. They were Marlum Ltd, Olyton Ltd and Tramie Ltd. These companies are owned by Chimaroke and his cronies. Normally when a contract is awarded to a company, another independent consulting company will be engaged to supervise and ascertain the compliance of work-done to the terms of the agreement. This oversight function is performed by Marlum on Olyton if Olyton is the awardee and vise vasa. The same happens if Tramie is the awardee and vise vasa. So it was easy for them to play along.
The Last Four Months to May 29 2007 Unknown also to many, the coffers of Enugu was completely empty during the last four months of Chimaroke's administration. The instruction quoted above was the reason Dan Shere ensured that the stop order placed on the allocation for Ma r l um was honored. In this robbery a total of N7.2b was diverted during the last four months leaving the State with nothing. In fact Sullivan had to resort to other arrangements to keep the State moving to stability.
More callous to know was that in the closing meetings among the Ebano inner circle before Chimaroke fled the country, it was agreed that all efforts must be made to ensure that Sullivan was impeached 3 months into his administration for his deputy to step-in for Sam Ejiofor to become the deputy so that the action plans would be followed to the later (many people are aware of the Sam Ejiofor becoming-the-deputy-governor-story not the other instructions attached to it). As fate would have it, Sam Ejiofor was in EFCC Cell while the swearing-in was taking place. They also reasoned that it would take Sullivan 6 months to settle-in as a new Governor and that he would be working hard to take charge of the uprising from the State Assembly who were already armed to impeach him, within this period they (Shere et al ) would be in-charge of the treasury because they would still be in power.
The Statistics Here is a comparison of projects executed in Nigeria and overseas with certain amounts far below US$ 552 m stolen from Enugu by Chimaroke, Dan Shere and others. Please note: The exchange rates as at when completed The corresponding Exchange Rates as at today The strength of the project and location It is naturally more expensive to construct projects in Abuja than in Enugu, hence the understanding that it would even be cheaper if the listed project were to be constructed in Enugu at the time of completion.
Project Location Cost Year Completed
National Assembly Complex Abuja $200m 1999
International Conference Center Abuja $ 8 m 1991
Nicon Hilton Abuja $7m 1995
11km Third Mainland Bridge Lagos $ 14 m 1987
Nike Lake Resort Hotel Enugu $ 4 m 1981
Onitsha Owerri Expressway Anambra/ Imo $78m 2009
Benue/Niger Bridge Kogi $8m 1976
Abuja National Stadium Abuja N38b 2003
Presidential Hotel Enugu Enugu $2.5m Eastern Nigeria
New Boeing 737 US $58m 2010
The Forbs Tower Pennsylvania $55m 1996
Boston University Photonics Cntr Boston $78m 1997
Titanic London BP1m 1912
The Titanic will cost $123m if it were to be built today. Source: wikipaedia.com Now compare these to the following projects said to be completed in Enugu by Chimaroke:
Project Location Cost Year
ESUT Teaching Hospital Enugu $81m 2005
ESUT Main Site Agbani $250m 2006
Enugu (Ebano) Tunnel Enugu $20m 2002
Enugu Intl Conference Center Enugu $35m 2007
Awgu Rural Road Mgbowo - Awgu Link $6m 2001
Agbani Road Agbani $8m 2005
The following table contains the Dollar Naira Exchange Rates from 1972 - 2009
Date Naira per US $ Date Naira per US $
1972 0.658 1991 8.04 (9.30 PM)
1973 0.658 1992 9.91
1974 0.63 1993 17.30 (21.90 PM)
1975 0.616 1994 22.33 (56.80 PM)
1976 0.62 1995 21.89 (71.70 PM)
1977 0.647 1996 21.89 (84.58 PM)
1978 0.606 1997 21.89 (84.58 PM)
1979 0.596 1998 21.89 (84.70 PM)
1980 0.550 (0.900 PM) 1999 21.89 (88-90 PM)
1981 0.61 2000 85.98 (105.00 PM)
1982 0.673 2001 99-106 (104-122 PM)
1983 0.724 2002 109-113 (122-140 PM)
1984 0.765 2003 114-127 (135-137 PM)
1985 0.894 (1.70 PM) 2004 127-130 (137-144 PM)
1986 2.02 (3.90 PM) 2005 132-136
1987 4.02 (5.90 PM) 2006 128.50-131.80
1988 4.54 (6.70 PM) 2007 120-125
1989 7.39 (10.70 PM) 2008 115.50-120
1990 7.39 (10.70 PM) 2009 145-171
Questions and Worries Please Note: the comparisons quoted here-on are obtainable as at December 2010.
If one considers the fact that it is impossible that projects in these other locations especially Abuja and Lagos will correspondingly cost the same, it will then be better to imagine what disfavor and damage that has been done to the people of Enugu by this gang of marudas.
It would cost $14m, today, to build a 7 storey building of 135,000sqm, a 100 rooms 4 star hotel in any city. Would it not have been better that the State built another 4 Star hotel in Enugu with $14m of the $ 552 m? Source: International Tourism Union
If in today's estimate it would cost $14m to completely build a world-class university anywhere in the world, why would it cost $ 250 m to build ESUT, which 2 years after the commissioning the structures are collapsing? Source: US Dept. of Education
If it could cost $14m, in 2010, to build a complete university with ALL facilities and 12 faculties and 32 departments including teaching hospital, why then would it cost $81m to build only ESUT Teaching Hospital of less than 10,000sqm which is, till date not accredited due to low-standard?
A tunnel in all definition is a road or passage that is borough into the ground from one end to the other to enable free movement of people. The much publicized Ebano Tunnel is nowhere near that. If you have gone there you will see that it was only a road constructed on the bare-surface that passes under a rail track. There is no sense of borough-works at all. Now, If it costs $120m to build a 4,600 foot tunnel in the worst of terrain in the snowy Newfoundland of Canada, then why should it cost over $20m to build a less than 240 feet length over-ground Ebano Tunnel in Enugu? (It's not underground!) That is 1:20 ratio less of length but 1:6 ratio higher in cost hence stealing $100m from the State going by globally accepted Tunnel Costing and Quantitation.
It is revealing and agonizing that the stolen $ 552 m (putting into consideration 10% as Nigerian factor) can comfortably build 38 units of 4-Star Hotels in Enugu, or 38 Standard Universities in Enugu, or 7 number Forbes Towers in Enugu or 4 number Boston Photocinic Center in Enugu if they were to be built today. Better still, it would have built about 17 number International Conference Centers (ICC) in Enugu but here-we-are, the ICC in Enugu standing at 92% completion in 2006, is now found out to be less than 5 2 % completion in the same 2006! Furthermore all funds for the project were already released in the same 2006, hence the scandalous Stop Order of February - May 2007.
It therefore bogs one's mind that the same Chimaroke, Shere and co are warming up to rule Enugu again under and PDC party they funded with our stolen wealth. Dan Shere, a man that brought Okija Shrine to Lion Building, and ensured that everyone takes the oath (except Sullivan and a few other s they never considered as threat), a man that called bluff the weeping of the aged and elderly in his local government when he owed them for 9 solid months, a man that single handedly ordered that Sullivan be poisoned latest 3 months into his administration for Sam Ejiofor to step-in, a man who had wanted Ejiofor to also be uprooted for him to become to Deputy Governor (option B of his game plan with Chiboy), a man that presided over a 4 month reign as de-facto Governor whose 'tenure' was more callous than the entire 8 years of Chimaroke put-together, this is the same man that wants to rule Enugu with Chiboy at the backdoor under an infamous PDC Party. Will he succeed? We shall see.
Vitus Onaga can be reached @ mailto:
Forbes Tower is a building of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh,_Pennsylvania Pittsburgh , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania Pennsylvania , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States United States . Located directly behind the historic Iroquois Building, Forbes Tower was designed by the architectural firm Tasso Katselas Associates and was completed in 1996 at a cost of $55 million and sits over the top of a 572-car underground parking garage. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Pittsburgh University of Pittsburgh jointly utilizes the building. 55,100 square feet (5,120 m 2 ) of offices, classrooms, and labs were constructed on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Pittsburgh_School_of_Health_and_Rehabilitation_Sciences University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Pittsburgh_Medical_Center ($13.2 million of the project cost).
The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences , which moved from the now demolished Pennsylvania Hall in 1996, shares space in the building with programs and centers jointly run by it and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Pittsburgh_Medical_Center University of Pittsburgh Medical Center http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Pittsburgh_School_of_Health_and_Rehabilitation_Sciences . The school's programs include clinical dietetics and nutrition, emergency medicine, communications science and disorders, health information management, athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation science and technology
The Boston University Photonics Center is a building and research center owned by Boston University . The 10-floor 235,000 ft 2 building opened in June 1997, finished at a cost of $78.4 million. The center specializes in developing and commercializing new products for the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photonics photonics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_University industry, spanning the fields of biomedical engineering, nanoscience, physics, astronomy, and chemistry.
By Vitus Onaga