The Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration in Rivers State, has said that unless the state’s former governor and current Transport minister, Rotimi Ameachi was seized, APC-led administration’s anti-graft war was yet to begin.
For failing to arrest Ameachi, since the war began about a year ago, the Rivers State government, sees what has transpired so far, as a mere “fishing expedition.”
The government spoke in reaction to the allegations made by the state’s All Progressives Congress, APC, chapter, to the effect that Wike and some PDP big wigs, were the ones who asked some judges to indict Amaechi.
Specifically, the APC chairman in the state, Davies Ikanya, had accused Wike, Godswill Akpabio, former Akwa Ibom governor; Udom Emmmanuel, incumbent Akwa Ibom governor; and Ifeanyi Okowa of telling judges to allegedly frame Amaechi up.
Two of the Supreme Court judges, John Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, whose homes were raided by the operatives of the DSS, had fingered Amaechi, as being responsible for their travails, for allegedly refusing to yield to his (Ameachi) bribe offer, for the purpose of influencing judgments, in two states, in favour of the APC.
But Ikanya described the judges’ claims as lies, claiming that four PDP politicians were hell bent on smearing the image of the minister, for the purpose of pulling him down.
Reacting to Ikanya’s statement, Rivers State Information and Communication Commissioner, Austin Tam-George, said, “the attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to yet another scurrilous statement by the Rivers State branch of the All Progressives Congress, APC, alleging that Governor Nyesom Wike had a hand in the judicial scandals that have engulfed Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transport.
“Governor Wike had refrained from making public comments on this subject, because the people of Rivers State feel sadly vindicated by these latest scandals swirling around the Transport minister. But all the federal anti-corruption agencies have so far treated the serious allegations against Mr. Amaechi with the moral timidity of Lucifer’s wife.
“In the run up to his screening by the Senate for the post of a minister in the federal cabinet in 2015, Nigerians were warned about Mr. Amaechi’s egregious antecedents in public office.
“As governor of Rivers State, Mr. Amaechi left a shameful record of waste and dysfunction. His thoughtless policies and mismanagement of public funds literally broke the economic spine of Rivers State.
“Amaechi’s continuous presence in the federal cabinet is an ugly moral sore, a dark blight on the so-called fight against corruption. Any war against corruption that does not begin with Mr. Amaechi in the dock is a mere fishing expedition,” Tam-George, in a statement, said.
He further alleged that leaders of the APC had been commending Amaechi for his “enormous financial contributions” to the campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari, just as he accused Amaechi of looting billions of naira belonging to the state in order to bankroll the campaign of the ruling party.
“Amaechi has of course always defended his innocence. But even chieftains of his party, the APC, including serving governors, have publicly praised Mr. Amaechi for bankrolling the party’s presidential campaigns in the 2015 general elections, and for sponsoring candidates in that election.
“Amaechi’s financial contributions to the APC, estimated to be in billions of naira, constitute a serious financial crime against the people of Rivers state. The allegations made against the transport minister by the justices of the court are therefore hardly surprising, because the scandals fall within a pattern of his moral turpitude in public life,” the state’s spokesperson, declared.