The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said that the Minister of Transportation and Former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi’s reckless blackmail will fail.
Nyesom Wike in a statement signed by Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, Read thus.
“Our attention has been drawn to a reckless Press Statement credited to the Embattled Minister of Transportation and Former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi to the effect that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is forging documents to secure his conviction in a court of law. This allegation is unfounded, baseless and a figment of the imagination of the former governor.
“The Minister of Transportation also went ahead to falsely allege that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike bragged that he has the judiciary at the State and Federal level in his pocket to secure his conviction on charges of corruption. This is another false allegation, merely concocted by the former governor to distract attention from the crimes he committed against Rivers people, by diverting their resources.
“This press statement issued by Rotimi Amaechi is part of the campaign of calumny launched by the Former Governor, following the foundation stone laid by the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen for the construction of the Rivers State Judges Quarters. The Former Governor sponsored advertorials and electronic adverts through proxies to stop the laudable project without success, hence the resort to falsehood and character assassination.
“We are not surprised by Amaechi’s antics to blackmail the Judiciary. Ever since the Supreme Court victory that validated the election of Governor Wike, Amaechi has never failed to malign the Judiciary.
“Governor Wike is a law abiding citizen, who believes in the rule of law. That is why he has followed due process in tackling the issues of high level corruption against the Minister of Transportation.
“The Rivers State Governor in line with the extant laws of Rivers State set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that investigated the Sale of Valued Assets of the State by the Amaechi administration. The constitution of that panel was challenged by the former Governor at the State High Court and Court of Appeal.
“Both courts upheld the establishment of that panel. The former governor has since approached the Supreme Court on appeal. Rather than await the verdict of the Apex Court, in his usual manner has resorted to political blackmail and falsehood. As usual, this will fail.
“It is imperative to declare that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that investigated the Sale of Valued Assets of the State sat in the public. All the documents about the fraud of that administration were circulated in the public domain with journalists writing about the activities of the commission, publishing tendered documents. Nothing was hidden from the people of the state.
“The Rivers State Commission of Inquiry into the sale of Valued State Assets and other related matters headed by Justice George Omereji received 442 exhibits, 27 memoranda while 25 witnesses testified before it.
“The Judicial Commission of Inquiry indicted the former governor and confirmed that N53 billion was diverted by Amaechi and his officials.
“The above statistics are relevant for the public to understand the scope of work by the judicial commission of inquiry. It received 27 memoranda while 25 witnesses testified.
“These memoranda came from different organisations and individuals who were directly involved in the issues that were investigated. We have very credible documents to prove the mass corrupt acts of the Minister of Transportation against the good people of Rivers State.
“We also saw a reckless post by Amaechi’s associate, Mr Igo Aguma trying to denegrate the Judiciary. This is most unfortunate.
“Amaechi’s sponsorship of Mr Livingstone Wechie will not change the facts that are known to all Nigerians. All documents tendered at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that investigated the Sale of Valued Assets of the State by the Amaechi administration are genuine.
“Amaechi is being haunted by his ugly past. He locked up the courts for two years, forgetting that he was a beneficiary of the courage of the Judiciary. Amaechi should respect the Judiciary as a courageous arm of government that works in line with the tenets of the law. 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.”