Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccheaus Adangor to commence immediate prosecution of his predecessor and former Transport Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, over alleged fraudulent sale of state assets and diversion of $50m.
The Governor named those to be included in the prosecution as Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Tonye Cole and his company Sahara Energy.
The Governor said there was a need for Rivers people and the rest of the world to know what actually happened to the $50 million that disappeared from state’s account without a proof of business where it was deployed.
Wike 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.
“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 from our account was moved to a company without nothing to show whether there was a business.”
Wike further directed Adangor to send a protest letter to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) following the harassment of Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Siminalaye Fubara.
Wike gave the directives on Friday at the Executive Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt, during the inauguration of three new commissioners.
Those sworn-in by the Governor and their portfolios are Prof. Adangor, Isaac Kamalu, Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning and Dr. George-Kelly, Dakorinama Alabo, Commissioner for Works and Special Projects.
The Governor recalled that the EFCC and its officers attempted to harass and intimidate Fubara, who before his emergence as the PDP governorship candidate, had served as the Accountant-General of Rivers State.
Wike said EFCC should 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 threatened that the State Government would charge the EFCC for contempt if it failed to retrace its steps.
Wike explained that hitherto, the Rivers State government had secured a subsisting court judgment against the EFCC stopping the commission from investigating the state finances or its officers.
He said there was also another subsisting judgment against EFCC by the PDP governorship candidate on the enforcement of his fundamental rights.
He 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 it.”
Wike noted that nobody would accept the use of EFCC at such political period to intimidate persons in order to achieve their skewed goals.
He said: “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.”
The governor commended the newly sworn-in commissioners for showing capacity, loyalty and commitment in previous assignments without excuses.
Wike informed that he would be careful in constituting his cabinet to full capacity because at such twilight of his administration, only people with undivided loyalty were needed to ensure good ending.
“I want to commend three 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 in spite of all odds, they are still there with you”, he said.
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