Wike directs A-G to commence prosecution of Amaechi, others over alleged financial dealings, sale of assets


By Amaka Agbu

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to commence diligent prosecution of the former Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Amb. Tonye Cole, Sahara Energy, among others over alleged illegal financial dealings and sale of assets belonging to the state.

Governor Wike gave the directive on Friday at the Executive Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt, after swearing in three new commissioners, DailyTimes gathered.

He said: “Attorney General, you’re at a critical period where people want to know what the state is going to do with the Judiciary Panel of Inquiry after the Supreme Court judgement on it. Luckily, you came at the right time when we have preferred criminal charges against the former governor (Amaechi) Sahara Energy, Tonye Cole, and the rest of them,” Wike said.

Governor Wike said there was need for Rivers people and the rest of the world to know what actually happened to the $50 million Dollar that allegedly disappeared from the state’s account without a proof of business where it was deployed.

“So, you are coming at the right time to take over the matter and to make sure it is prosecuted diligently. I don’t want to hear excuses. Let the people see what happened to our money. The world will see how $50 million Dollar from our account was moved to a company without nothing to show whether there was a business,” he directed.

However, Rt. Hon. Amaechi had earlier stated that he was not on trial over allegations of corruption.

The former Transportation Minister had made the clarification after the Supreme Court ruling that he could be tried based on the allegations against him by the Rivers State government.

He had said that the Supreme Court’s pronouncement further vindicated his position that the probe by Wike’s commission should not be seen as personal to him.

During the swearing in ceremony, the governor further directed the Attorney-General of the State and Commissioner for Justice, to write a strong worded protest letter to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over harassment of the state’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Siminalaye Fubara.

The protest letter to be written to EFCC, Governor Wike said, was predicated on the allegation that officers of the commission recently attempted to harass and intimidate Fubara, who, before his emergence as the PDP governorship candidate, had served as the Accountant-General of Rivers State.

Governor Wike said EFCC needed to know that the era of impunity and flagrant disobedience to the rule of law was gone and that his administration would not accept such behaviour.

He maintained that the attempt to harass the state PDP candidate would not be accepted as the state government would not hesitate to charge the EFCC for contempt.

Governor Wike explained that before then, the Rivers State government had gotten a subsisting court judgment against the EFCC that it could not investigate the state finances or its officers.

According to him, there was also another judgment against EFCC by the PDP governorship candidate to enforce his fundamental rights, which had not been set aside.

Governor Wike said: “Rivers State government had judgment against EFCC since 2007. The court said you (EFCC) has no business in the financial transactions of the (Rivers) State. EFCC has been struggling to set aside that judgement until now. They have not even appealed against it.”

Governor Wike noted that nobody would accept the use of EFCC at such political period to intimidate persons in order to achieve their skewed political goals.

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“We are in a political period. People should not think that they will use EFCC to intimidate or manipulate him (Fubara). Nobody will accept that. So you (Attorney-General) have to attach the judgment of the candidate against EFCC and send the right signal to them that we are not people that can be cowed,” he stated.

Speaking further, Governor Wike commended the newly sworn-in commissioners who, he said, had shown capacity, loyalty, and commitment in previous assignments without excuses.

Governor Wike informed that he would be careful in constituting his cabinet to full because at such twilight of his administration, only people with undivided loyalty were needed to ensure a good ending.

He continued: “I want to commend three of you that you have shown commitment, you have shown hard work, you have shown loyalty. And for me, that is the only way to pay back the people who have shown loyalty in spite of all odds. They are still there with you.”

The new commissioners are Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Isaac Kamalu as Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, and Dr. George-Kelly, Dakorinama Alabo as Commissioner for Works and Special Projects.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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