Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, on Friday, October 9 issued a white paper directing the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Emmanuel Aguma (SAN), to begin the process of prosecuting former Governor Rotimi Amaechi and two others over the sale of the state’s four gas turbines without due process.
Wike had earlier promised to act immediately on the report of Justice George Omeriji probe panel set up by his government to look into the activities of the Amaechi administration.
Wike also ordered the suspension of permanent secretaries and other top civil servants allegedly indicted by the report of the Justice George Omereji-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the sales of valued assets of the state during the immediate past administration.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the state executive council meeting where the white paper on the commission’s report was issued, the commissioner for Housing, Emma Okah, a lawyer, said Amaechi would be prosecuted along with the former commissioner for finance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside and his counterpart in the ministry of power, Augustine Nwokocha.
Former secretary to the Rivers state government, George Feyi, was asked to refund monies running into over N4 billion among others.
In a Swift reaction, the Rivers state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), said the reported release of a white paper is part of the scenes taken from a typical mediaeval era book of self-entertainment.
Parts of the statement read:“It qualifies for nothing and is not worth more than the decrepit paperweight and putrefying character of its mastermind and authors.
“However, it is a huge relief to our leader, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi that Nyesom Wike finally accepts that an accused is taken to court of law and not court of public opinion through the manipulation of the media.
”Governor Nyesom Wike is at liberty to amuse himself but wanton display by a governor of crass ignorance of the basic workings of government with regard to how government disposes its property and the process of channelling the payments into government coffers calls for sober reflection by every Rivers man, woman and youth. And the question begging for answer is: how did we get here?”
”Those who crafted this whole melodrama know very well that their contraption is nothing more than a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
”For the avoidance of doubt, the APC is glad that Governor Wike has finally hearkened to the pleas by former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to go to court to prove his accusations rather than embark on expensive strings of media trial through newspapers and worthless television documentaries.
“We have no doubt that very concrete records of every bit of matter relating to the Monorail, sale of power stations, reserve fund, agricultural grant, lease of Olympia Hotel and any others have all been articulated and already in the public domain. Of course, these will be availed the court to permanently put paid to the ongoing chicanery by Governor Nyesom Wike and his friends.”
Meanwhile, sensing that he will have a hard time in the Senate as the upper chamber commences ministerial screening next week, Amaechi, has visited the Senate president, Bukola Saraki to enable him get a soft landing.
Amaechi’s nomination is facing stiff opposition in the Senate especially from senators from his state. The senators has already submitted a petition to the Senate concerning his nomination, accusing him of fraud and corruption.
On its part, the Rivers state government said Amaechi’s nomination as minister will not save him from being prosecuted for looting the state’s funds.