I thanked them, congratulated Yar’Adua, wished him well, assured him of my support and then said to President Obasanjo to please now close the EFCC chapter since it was clear the aim had been achieved. He in no uncertain terms assured me that he would ensure that was done. On that note, I left the villa. As I was driving out of the Villa gate ‘then Governor’ Goodluck Jonathan was driving in at about 3.40pm December 17th 2006. A few moments later the announcement of Goodluck Jonathan as the running mate to Yar’Adua hit the airwaves. Mission accomplished, I got back to Port Harcourt at about mid-day Monday the 18th December, 2006 and addressed the press urging and declaring support for the Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket.
At the new year 1st January, 2007 banquet at the new Government House Port Harcourt, I assured the public that the (false) and contrived allegations maliciously made against me and my administration were untrue and that ‘we shall be vindicated in due course’. This statement appeared not to have been kindly received in some quarters because a few days into the New Year, January 2007, I was informed that EFCC operatives had invited some of my officials to Lagos for interrogation. I allowed them to go, to show that we had nothing to hide. I promptly informed the Presidency of the development and was assured that the unnecessary harassment would be stopped.
The EFCC menace, rather than cease, increased with the seizure of documents from some ministries by EFC carting them away to their offices. I again lifted no finger to stop them, just to show that we were not afraid of anything. I however decided to go and speak to the president in Abuja.
In my presence, Nuhu Ribadu was supposedly called on phone and instructed to stop the contrived operation in Rivers State. The president again reassured me and I went back to Port Harcourt. A few days later more stories of EFCC rampage in my ministries got to me. I once more made contact with the president and expressed my displeasure and dissatisfaction with this matter. I was again assured by him that nothing would happen. By this time I was beginning to smell something sinister.
I thought through the entire saga from December 12th 2006 to about the end of January, 2007. I decided it was time to take care of the developing situation. I got my legal team together and we looked at the whole picture. It became clear that having concocted and contrived a spurious petition, produced a pre-determined and malicious report, achieved the goal it was meant for and now, afraid of the possible repercussions of an evil agenda, it was now imperative for the plotters to find a way to justify their action by finding ‘something’ against Odili. Logical. The only thing to do was to work backwards from the already-predetermined and executed end to find ‘something’. Common sense. I was ‘frightened’ by the sudden realization that human beings could be this perfidious and evil. I prayed over the situation with my family and, with that, set my legal team to work. I decided to legally fight back invoking the principle of ‘self preservation’.
Within a few days our papers were ready for various judicial battles. Out of a sense of patriotic commitment to a government I was considered a friend of, in the public eye, I told my legal team to stay action. It was after a very astonishing meeting at the Presidency over the matter of my successor as Governor of Rivers State that I instructed my legal team led by the Attorney-General Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, to commence action first at the State High Court and then at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, against EFCC.