- Panel probing my tenure is illegal, says ex-Gov
Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied a recent claim by former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi that he left N7.5billion Internally-Generated Revenue, IGR, with some banks for Governor Nyesom Wike.
The party said there was no such amount in the state treasury on Wike’s assumption of office on May 29, 2015.
In a statement issued yesterday by state PDP chairman, Mr. Felix Obuah, the party described Amaechi’s claim as “false, unfounded and indefensible,” and pointed out inconsistencies in the former governor’s statement.
Obuah said: “By the time you pull all these (accounts) together, we are looking at readily available cash in the region of N8billion to N10billion left for the Wike administration.”
He reiterated the party’s position that Amaechi embezzled billions of dollars and looted assets belonging to the state, some of which he used in funding the activities of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and also lodged in several of his private foreign accounts.
The party therefore drew the attention of Nigerians to the recent revelation by a United States bank, which it had communicated to the federal government that $757million (N80billion) is domiciled in an account in Amaechi’s name.
Obuah claimed that the US bank intends to return Amaechi’s loot, which was part of the stolen funds by the former governor. He asserted that Rivers State was bankrupt under Amaechi, even when he was receiving about N6billion monthly as IGR and demanded answers from the former governor on why he could not pay civil servants, pensioners, TIMARIV workers, students’ scholarship, contractors, teachers at the Nne Krubo Model Secondary School, Eleme, among others, for several months when he had the said amount.
“It is on record that the former governor admitted that Rivers State was broke and that, there was nothing for Wike to work with, because the state was broke,” Obuah said.
Expressing concern over Amaechi’s delay in making the claim public, the PDP challenged him to substantiate his allegations through a public debate with the state government.
Panel probing my tenure, illegal, says Amaechi
Meanwhile, Amaechi has said he is fighting to stop the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Wike to probe into some government transactions during his tenure, because the commission was not set up within the ambit of Nigeria’s constitution.
The former governor emphasised that he was not afraid of a fair and decent probe or investigation or inquiry on his administration, and would cooperate with the government if it is done legally.
Amaechi in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by his media office, said: “However, what Wike has set out to do is anything but a fair probe. The commission will not be fair to Amaechi because it was set up to indict him. Wike had repeatedly held that Amaechi, the person to be investigated, acted illegally in the disbursement of public funds and that Amaechi ran a corrupt government.
“Clearly, Wike has prejudged the matter and shown his bias that Amaechi is guilty even before the investigation. This means Wike, with his prejudiced made up mind has taken a position of a guilty verdict even before the outcome is known or established.
“The same Wike who had adjudged the yet-to-be-investigated conduct of Amaechi as corrupt is the same person that has gone ahead to set up a commission of inquiry and will have the final say on the findings of the commission. What a sham!
“This bias and predetermined agenda to indict Amaechi is obvious even in the terms of reference of the commission. In one of the defective terms of reference, Wike said the commission should investigate the circumstances that led to the ‘sale of the state Hotel Olympia’.
“With a fair and decent probe, the inquiry should have been ‘to examine (or investigate) the transaction concerning Hotel Olympia’.
“Now, having so concluded that Hotel Olympia was sold, would Wike be decent and humble enough to reverse himself if documents showed it was never sold but concessioned or leased? This is one of the dangers of Wike’s commission that harbours a predetermined outcome in the name of an inquiry and Amaechi will not subject himself to Wike’s deceit and phony shenanigans. Hotel Olympia was never sold. The hotel was only concessioned (or leased) on the approval of the State Executive Council and not sold.
“Even while inaugurating his yeoman commission of inquiry, Wike could not conceal his vendetta agenda. He was clear to the panel members that their job is to indict Amaechi. And to do this his dirty hack job, he got Justice G. O. Omereji (the commission chairman), a man who is well known to harbour a long held, extreme anger, hatred and animosity against former Governor Amaechi,” the statement read in part.