The unrelenting rivalry and political warfare between the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and his kinsman, former governor and now bitterest political enemy, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has now narrowed to verbal war over the sale of power assets in the state and the Omereji Judicial panel’s report.
The matter took a new turn when two weeks ago, the nation woke with a rude shock when the principal pointman in accusing Amaechi, one Livistone Wechie, turned round to say he was sold a dummy to frame Amaechi.
Apparently having recovered from the shock, the state government has fought back, insisting that the allegations were true, no matter Wechie’s turnaround.
Wike: We never forged documents, we have overwhelming evidence:
Gov Wike declared that the evidence of corruption against the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is so overwhelming that the Minister of Transportation admitted to them publicly.
Addressing the 106th quarterly meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt, Wike said: “All the documents that proved Amaechi’s corrupt acts are authentic. We never forged documents. The former governor himself admitted that he paid out $39million to Clinotech, without a single block laid anywhere. Is that a document he claims was forged? Where is the Hospital?
“He has agreed in different interviews that he sold the state gas turbines for $309million. Convert $309million to naira and you will understand the level of fraud. Amaechi left only $204,000 in the state account. The bank statements of the pattern of withdrawals from that account are there for all to see. Can that be forged? The dates and amounts withdrawn are clearly written”.
The governor berated the minister for allegedly engaging in the blackmail of the Supreme Court because his appeal is pending before the Apex Court over the establishment of the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry. “There is no time that he loses a case without blackmailing the Judiciary. He feels that the only way he can do it is to blackmail the Supreme Court. You cannot play politics with everything “.
On the use of hotels for electoral fraud, the governor warned that any hotel that opens its facility for electoral fraud and malpractice would lose its operational certificate of occupancy. “Any hotel that is used to rig elections, that hotel’s certificate of occupancy will be withdrawn. I will not all that anymore “.
He regretted that the Former Rivers State Governor has continued to work against the interest of the state, refusing to use his position as a minister to attract benefits to the people.
Amaechi: Wike continues to forge more documents against me
The former governor’s team said Gov Wike has continued to twist, falsify and forge fresh documents that he intends to use against Amaechi. “Wike wants to use the elaborately distorted and most times outright, but carefully forged documents to persecute and prosecute his erstwhile benefactor in court. In the past couple of days, Wike has been telling everyone that he will certainly get a conviction, a judgment against Amaechi in the law courts on spurious charges of corruption using his forged documents because he (Wike) is in control of the judiciary at the state and national level.
“Nigerians would recall that only a few days back, Livingstone Wechie, the young man Wike used to accuse Amaechi of corruption and write false and frivolous petitions to the National Assembly, EFCC, etc, confessed that all the documents he used to wrongfully portray Amaechi as corrupt when he governed Rivers State were phonies, forged documents given to him by Wike’s Rivers State Government House. Wechie also admitted, like we have always said, that the forged documents were used as the template and basis for the Justice Omereji-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry, a panel Wike set up early in his administration to witch-hunt, malign, vilify and persecute Amaechi.
“Sadly, this is the kind of administration that presides over the affairs of Rivers people. An administration that embarks on wholesale forgery and distortion of government documents and then retails it out to his minions, the media and now the judiciary in a shameful and futile bid to defame and destroy Amaechi. Brazenly, without any scruples, Governor Wike runs an administration that manufactures and concocts documents to indict Amaechi of corruption. Yes, this is the kind of character, a low-level conman that is at the helm of affairs in Rivers State.
“Since he became governor, Wike’s sole agenda has been to attack and vilify Rotimi Amaechi, no matter how ridiculous and silly he sounds. Every day in Rivers State, there is one frivolous, false story of what Amaechi did or didn’t do. Same pattern, the same blatant lies using distorted and forged documents, same old concocted stories of corruption allegations against Amaechi told with different twists.
“Nigerians will not forget in a hurry how Nyesom Wike, hurriedly called a suspicious late night press conference to lie that the over $43million found by EFCC in a luxury apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos and the apartment belongs to Amaechi.
Wike: I stand by the declaration
The media aide, Simeon Nwakaudua, said on Thursday, “Without equivocation, Governor Wike stands by his declaration on the Rivers funds found at the notorious Ikoyi residence. Nothing has changed.
“Governor Wike will not be distracted by this reckless and unfortunate blackmail of the Judiciary by Amaechi. At the appropriate time, the immediate past Governor of Rivers State will be brought to Justice. He is assured of fair trial.”
Even a child knows that governments sell assets based on cogent economic considerations. In the case of Rivers State, it didn’t make sense to build, operate, maintain power stations then upload electricity to the national grid at great cost to the Rivers taxpayer without refund from the FG at the time when legal issues prevented the taxpayer from enjoying same electricity hence the sale of the power stations and the funds paid into the treasury as all funds must be appropriated. Let Governor Wike provide evidence that due process was not adhered to as stated here.
It is really disturbing to hear a governor speak as if governments sell assets and spend the money outside of appropriation. All the monies realised from the sale of various assets by the federal government are paid into the consolidated revenue fund which is eventually appropriated by Parliament. You don’t need to be a motor park economist to understand these simple things. Gov. Wike should provide proof that monies realised from sale power plants were not lodged into the bank.
There is no doubt that the decision by Amaechi to approve sale of the power plants was in the best interest of Rivers people whose resources would have been further spent providing electricity for others. If it were possible, the road assets of the federal government totalling N105billion which the FG refused to refund the state government should have been sold and the funds recovered for the people but it was not possible. So, let the present governor provide proof of diversion of funds and stop rabble rousing.