Immediate past governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has again explained why he wants to stop the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by his successor, Nyesom Wike, to probe some selected government transactions, while he (Amaechi) was governor.
In a statement released by his media office on Sunday, Amaechi said he was not afraid of a fair and decent probe or investigation or inquiry of his administration and would cooperate and support such inquiry in as much as it was done within the ambits of the nation’s laws.
The statement, made available to newsmen read, “What Wike has set out to do is anything but a fair probe. The commission will not be fair to Amaechi because it was set up to indict him. Wike had repeatedly held that Amaechi, the person to be investigated, acted illegally in the disbursement of public funds and that Amaechi ran a corrupt government.
“Clearly, Wike has prejudged the matter and showed his bias that Amaechi is guilty even before investigations. This means Wike, with his prejudiced, made up mind has taken a position of a guilty verdict even before the outcome is known or established.
“The same Wike who had adjudged the yet-to-be-investigated conduct of Amaechi as illegal and corrupt, is the same person that has gone ahead to set up a commission of inquiry and will have the final say on the findings of the commission. What a sham!
“This bias and predetermined agenda to indict Amaechi is obvious even in the terms of reference of the commission. In one of the defective terms of reference, Wike said the commission should investigate the circumstances that led to the ‘sale of the state Hotel Olympia’.”
Amaechi said that with a fair and decent probe, the Inquiry should have been ‘to examine (or investigate) the transaction concerning Hotel Olympia.’
He said, “The difference is so clear: In the former, jaundiced Wike’s term of reference, it has been prejudiced and concluded that the hotel was sold, while in the latter, the Inquiry is open and fair, and may lead to a finding of a sale or a lease or even a gift or even a pledge.
“Now, having so concluded that Hotel Olympia was sold, would Wike be decent and humble enough to reverse himself if documents showed it was never sold but concessioned or leased?
“This is one of the dangers of Wike’s commission that harbours a predetermined outcome in the name of an Inquiry and Amaechi will not subject himself to Wike’s deceit and phony shenanigans. Hotel Olympia was never sold. The hotel was only concessioned (or leased) on the approval of the State Executive Council, and not sold.
“Even while inaugurating his yeoman commission of Inquiry, Wike could not conceal his vendetta agenda. He was clear to the panel members that their job is to indict Amaechi. And to do this dirty hack job, he got Justice G. O. Omereji (the commission chairman), a man who is well known to harbour a long-held, extreme anger, hatred and animosity against Amaechi. And Justice Omereji has never disguised this his stance and disposition towards Amaechi.
“As a matter of fact, Justice Omereji even advised a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) chairman in Rivers State on measures (to take) against then Governor Amaechi. He had expressed his hatred for Amaechi several times to the NBA chairman who was also an Attorney-General of the state. How can we now expect Justice Omereji to be fair to Amaechi, the person he passionately loathes with extreme malice and venom?”
He added: “Anyone who has been following events in the state knows this Wike probe is just a fraudulent sham, a deceptive mission to indict Amaechi. Wike’s one-point agenda is to go after his predecessor. Immediately Wike took over, he made a show and gave a performance of his false accusations that Amaechi stripped the Governor’s Lodge bare, saying the former governor stole spoons, plates, knives, cups, mattresses, forks and even curtains from the Governor’s Lodge!
“However, in the images Wike showed to back his lies, the curtains in the lodge were clearly there, seen and intact. Again, Wike claimed he met a completely empty treasury. That again is another big lie and grand deception.
“We have said that Amaechi left billions of naira and we even went ahead to mention the banks and give the names of the accounts the money is on May 29, 2015. We challenge Wike to publish the statements of these accounts and other Rivers State government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) accounts as at May 29; to prove his claim and show the public that Amaechi left an empty treasury for him.
“This Wike’s probe is dead on arrival. It’s ill-conceived and ill-motivated. Wike’s probe is designed to twist and distort, or even completely alter selected legitimate government transactions in his desperation to cook upand fabricate sham cases of corruption against Amaechi. Wike’s probe commission shall not achieve anything beyond political excitements, entertainment and theatrics.
“Finally, Amaechi will continue to use every constitutional and legal means available to protect his name and image from this massive smear campaign, state-sponsored onslaught against him by Wike-led government whose sole agenda is a desperate search for a Amaechi political downfall.”