BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT – An indication that former governor Chibuike Amaechi may not appear before the Justice G Omereji commission established to probe his administration emerged yesterday as he doubted the ability of the body to be fair to him.
The commission which was set up by governor Nyesom Wike is expected to commence sitting today in Port Harcourt.
The former governor in a statement from his media office said governor Nyesom Wike had on several occasions publicly indicted him of corruption, stressing that there was no way a commission he established to probe him will come up with anything contrary.
Meantime, governor Wike in a quick response wondered why Amaechi was afraid of the commission, saying his media statements around the commission were ploy to put pressure on the government to halt the probe which he could not achieve through the court.
Wike who spoke through his media aide, Mr Opunabo Nko-Tariah said there would have been no need for a judicial probe if the governor had found him guilty of the allegations. He further advised the former governor to appear before the commission to prove his innocence rather than running to the media to seek how to stop the commission from going ahead with its job.
On his part , the former governor said he was willing to submit himself to an unbiased commission that will operate within the ambit of the law.
His words, “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 up, and fabricate sham cases of corruption against Amaechi. Wike’s probe commission shall not achieve anything beyond political excitements, entertainment and theatrics.
Anyone who has been following events in Rivers 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”
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 Rotimi Amaechi political downfall.”
Former governor Amsechi said signs that the commission will be biased against him were in the speech read by the governor while inaugurating the body. He said the governor had alleged that Hotel Olympia was sold,man issue he said he should have allowed the commission to determine.
The former governor also took on the Chairman of the commission. Justice G. Omereji describing as a foe,
“However 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 Amaechi as 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’. With a fair and decent probe, the Inquiry should have been ‘to examine (or investigate) the transaction concerning Hotel Olympia’.
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 his 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 former governor 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 Rivers State. How can we now expect Justice Omereji to be fair to Amaechi, the person he passionately loathes with extreme malice and venom?”
“Anyone who has been following events in Rivers 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 that 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. ”
On allegation by Wike that he inherited an empty treasury when he took over in May 29 former governor Amaechi insisted he left over 7 billion behind, insisting that the governor should publish the account he met on ground.
“Again, Wike claimed he met a completely empty treasury. That again is another big lie and grand deception. We have said that former governor Amaechi left billions of naira and we even went ahead to mention the banks and give the names of the accounts the money were, as at 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.”, he said.