•Flay PDP for demanding minister’s resignation
From Chris Anucha, Port Harcourt and Joe Effiong, Uyo
Rivers and Akwa Ibom states chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have risen in defence of former governor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Umana Okon Umana over bribery allegations leveled against them by two justices of the Supreme Court, John Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta
The Rivers APC also dismissed calls by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Amaechi’s resignation. PDP on Monday, said Amaechi had no moral justification to remain in office, followingthe bribery allegation.
Inß a statement signed by its chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, absolved Amaechi of involvement in the bribery allegation.
“We are convinced that God, who has always fought for Amaechi, will continue to save and strengthen him, and will once again vindicate him,” the party said.
The statement berated the PDP and others, calling for his resignation and probe, based on the bribery allegation.
“PDP is only acting out its frustration over the key role that Amaechi played to end the corruption system, engineered by the past PDP administration at the centre, but let us assure the public that this plot has already failed before it was hatched because, no sound-minded Nigerian will buy this lame allegation that has no logical stand.”
The statement continued: “We wish to counsel the Justices already arrested for corruption to be men enough and face their trial accordingly, and leave Amaechi alone. Amaechi’s only crime was that he played a yeoman’s role in the efforts to see to the emergence of the revered Muhammadu Buhari, as president of Nigeria who, imbued with God’s wisdom and strength, has launched an uncompromising war against those who looted our common patrimony.”
On its part, the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the party in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Chief Ita Awak, in a reaction to Justice Okoro’s letter to the CJN in which he alleged attempts by Amaechi and the APC gubernatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Umana, to induce him with promised windfall if the Supreme Court appeal judgment would favour the APC in the state, said its members and majority of Akwa Ibom people were ashamed by the needless opprobrium Justice Okoro has brought upon himself.
“We want to kindly advise Justice John Okoro that whilst he battles to extricate himself from the sorry situation he wilfully led himself into, he should do well not to besmirch the innocent and/or try to scapegoat any innocent person. The leadership of the APC in Akwa Ibom wants him assured that it is in no way involved in his current travails.
“While we may sympathise with him over his self-inflicted tribulations, we want to kindly bring to his knowledge that the one and only person responsible for his present ordeal is the face of the person staring at him as he looks into the mirror,” the party said.
It denied allegation that Amaechi and Umana ever tried to induce Okoro with bribes in order to influence the Supreme Court appeal judgment in favour of the APC.
“We loudly declare that Justice John Inyang Okoro fabricated his blatant and malicious lies about Messrs. Rotimi Amaechi and Umana Okon Umana visiting his official residence and promising him future gratification as a ploy to cunningly distract public attention from the main issue of grave corruption for which he is currently being investigated.”