Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has replied his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike, on the allegation that $150 million was looted during his (Amaechi’s) tenure.
Amaechi said such a huge sum could not disappear without a paper trail.
The minister gave the explanation in a statement issued by the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Media Office, on Saturday.
According to the statement, “Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State in an interview with THISDAY newspaper of today Saturday, December 13, 2016 (yesterday), continued to disparage and attack the person and highly regarded reputation of his erstwhile benefactor and immediate past governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who’s now the minister of Transportation.
“In this his latest interview, Wike continued to re-tell his new ‘stori stori’ of a phantom and bogus $150 million he claimed Amaechi stole from Rivers State government account(s) to fund the All Progressives Congress (APC) in December of 2014. However, this time, there were clear inconsistencies between this one and the first time he told the same fairy tale last Sunday inside the Anglican Church in his community. Same story; but two inconsistent, incoherent versions. This is clearly what happens when you fabricate a story with the sole aim of deceiving your audience. You are bound to tell different versions as you go along.
“Asked pointedly to provide evidence to prove his allegations that Amaechi took $150 million of State money to fund APC, Governor Nyesom Wike in a very deceptive manner, rambled on and on about EFCC, corruption, and fighting corruption with his discredited kangaroo judicial panel of Inquiry that was set up to indict Amaechi, and stop him from been appointed minister. Wike then went on to say the money was stolen between December 1st to 31st of 2014, and given to the APC.
“This version is sharply inconsistent with the first one he told inside the Anglican Church, when he claimed the $150 million was stolen and given to the APC within 18 days, from December 1 to 18 of 2014. Again, this is what happens when tale is a ‘stori stori’ taken from a book of deception and deceit. Wike again, claimed he has evidence to prove his allegation but as usual, did not provide any”, the statement noted.
According to the statement, “It’s indeed laughable and shameful that Governor Wike will relentlessly albeit recklessly make a spurious allegation as serious as a purported stealing of $150 million and when asked to provide proof cannot provide any but would only say ‘I have abundant evidence’.
“That amount of money cannot leave the Rivers State government coffers to APC without a paper trail. Anything short of providing verifiable documentary evidence of the movement of the money from Rivers State government coffers to sponsor the APC is an assault on the sensibilities of Rivers people and Nigerians. Governance is not a drinking party. Governance is serious business. For the sake of Rivers State and Rivers people, Wike should stop dancing naked in the market square.
“In the interview, Wike kept talking about the judicial panel of Inquiry he set up to indict Amaechi of corruption in his failed bid to stop Amaechi from been appointed a Minister. In his usual disingenuous way of speaking, he made it look like the panel was the standard of determining who is corrupt or not, while deliberately and misleadingly failing to acknowledge that the vendetta panel was not a court of law, therefore cannot have the powers of our courts to determine who’s guilty or not guilty of corruption
“As a matter of fact, the hack inquisition panel packaged as a probe panel, clearly showed bias and determination to indict Amaechi and officials of his administration during its public hearing. It was commonplace for witnesses to be coerced, directed, ordered and told in clear terms, sometimes with written notes, on what to say or not to say. In the same vein, Justice Omereji, the chairman of the panel prevents counsels to those invited by the commission from asking relevant questions that are likely to deviate and detract from their pre-determined agenda and conclusion.
“Also, the Commission’s chairman was in the habit of ordering witnesses not to answer questions that would expose the commission’s bias to indict former governor Amaechi. Indeed, the hack panel of Inquisition did not disappoint. It lived up to expectations as a comedy, a circus show to grab media headlines with bogus, phantom and fabricated and distorted claims of corrupt practices against former governor Amaechi and officials of his administration.
“Wike again lied in the interview when he claimed that Amaechi didn’t pay workers salaries for 3-4 months. The process to pay the April salaries of regular civil servants was on going as May 29, 2015 when Amaechi left office. Wike was expected to continue with the process and pay the workers when he took over the mantle of leadership in the State. Everyone knows that May salaries would come from the May federal allocation that was received by Governor Wike after Amaechi had left office. Wike saying that Amaechi owed civil servants four months salaries is another distorted claim to mislead the public”, the statement added.