By Omeiza Ajayi
The Civil Society Advocacy Group for Accountability and Probity has slammed the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike for obstructing Thursday’s move by the police to arrest the sacked Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Ms Joy Nunieh.
The CSO at a press conference jointly addressed by Comrade Solomon Adodo, Comrade Igwe Ude-Umanta, Convener and Co-convener of the group respectively noted that the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the commission had begun to yield fruit but for the efforts of powerful persons who had converted it to their private estate.
“As the group that keeps watching on Society, the media is aware that since President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to sanitize the Niger-Delta Development Committee NDDC last year, it has received support by concerned Nigerians, but has also been under heavy politicization by those who know that their hands are soiled.
“They have taken to the media (social and traditional), organised protests, sponsored riots all to no avail. They tried to discredit the wisdom and discretion of Mr President in taking some administrative decisions such as the setting up of an Interim Management Committee to carry out a thorough forensic audit.
“As we speak today, the probe into the activities of the previous management of the NDDC is ongoing and being thoroughly carried out by the Interim Management Committee.
“The will of the Federal Government to confront the ills in the NDDC is unshaken. So, politics has increased in order to divert attention. But of particular worry is the reason why the former Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Joy Nunieh has refused to answer her summons to appear before the Investigative Committee of the House of Representatives on the NDDC. She has also refused to yield to the Nigeria Police for questioning. What else could be the reason except for evasion of justice?
“And it becomes more worrisome when Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, shields her from arrest, claiming that she was being abducted and that he was protecting a citizen of Rivers State. Gov Wike has always found reasons to obstruct investigations.
“We are sad that Wike who claims to be the defender of Rivers people only extends that defence to those who have been accused of feeding fat on the country or other crimes. He should desist forthwith. And he should release Dr Joy Nunieh to the Nigeria Police for investigation.
“No matter how Gov Wike tries to sugar-coat the obstruction of a lawful arrest, it has simply betrayed the covert attempt by these people who have diverted the resources of the NDDC to collaborate with the opposition to frustrate the determined effort of Mr President to clean up the NDDC. That action by Wike is nothing other than outright and well-calculated sabotage of investigation into a crime”, the CSO noted.
It further asked the former NDDC acting managing director, Nunieh to come clean of all allegations against her saying it was the honourable thing to do by any citizen.
“Let us also inform the public that beyond the allegations before Dr Nunieh on her activities at the NDDC, she also has a case of Perjury which this group has petitioned the Inspector General of Police about since last week. We insist that she lied on oath, and that is criminal.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Joy Nunieh deposed to an affidavit before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on October 23, 2019, in which she claimed that she lost her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Call-up Letter and Certificate of Discharge. This is a lie which she told a Court of Law in order to obtain an undue favour.
“The fact of the matter is that though the Nigerian Law School forwarded her name for the National Youth Service, she never participated. This is an allegation she should simply appear before the Nigeria Police to answer. If she is not guilty of Perjury, the NYSC will bring their records to absolve her. It is quite simple.
“We insist that she lied on oath. And she should and must answer to it. Gov. Nyesom Wike who is a lawyer should stop obstructing justice. Let Dr Joy Nunieh, a lawyer also, come forward and prove that indeed she lost her NYSC Call-up Letter and Certificate of Discharge”, the group stressed.