Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike is at a State High Court in Port Harcourt for a second consecutive day to personally observe the prosecution of a foreign company, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, it parent organization, Saipem SPA, and its management over alleged fraud against the state government, IgbereTV reports.
The company is accused of failing to execute the contract for the construction of a power plant, near the Afam Power Station in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state after receiving full payment of $130million and an additional N70 billion in variation between 2011 and 2014.
The Rivers State Government said the failure of the company to execute the project led to the abandonment of a gas turbine generator unit in Holland since 2012 which the state is paying so much on demurrage.
The case was instituted by the Wike administration in November last year before Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the Rivers State High Court 25.
The defendants in the matter are: Saipem SPA; Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited; Walter Peviana; Kelechi Sinteh Chinakwe; Giandomenico Zingali; Vitto Testaguzza and Davide Anelli.
On January 11, 2022, the Presiding Judge, Justice Okogbulo Gbasam remanded the third defendant, Walter Peviani a foreign national who is the manager of Saipem Contracting Firm, and the fourth defendant, Kelechi Chinakwe, a Nigerian.
The judge also issued a warrant of arrest against the fifth and the seventh defendants, both of foreign national, for failing to appear in court after a reasonable adjournment to allow for constituted service of notice which he said was duly carried out