Mr Rotimi Amaechi,the immediate past governor of Rivers State, has described a judicial commission of inquiry set up by incumbent governor Nyesom Wike to probe his erstwhile administration as a mere distracting comedy and subterfuge aimed at deceiving the public and grab media headlines on alleged corruption during his tenure.
Amaechi who stated this in a statement issued on Monday by his media office, said the panel was mainly set up to indict him of corruption by all means because everything about the probe commission is at variance with the ethics and laws of a fair, just and unbiased probe commission.
According to the former governor, the probe is an illegality meant to distract the attention of the people of the state from the way the Wike administration governs its affairs with reckless financial abandon.
The ex-governor, who also said the probe was an attempt by Wike to deceive the public about the nearly N10 billion he bequeathed the succeeding administration with false claims, noted that no matter how hard he tries, the public can clearly see through Wike’s “fraudulent deception and the sham he calls Commission of Inquiry.”
The statement reads: “Indeed, the hack panel has not disappointed its paymaster since it started its shambolic public hearings. As we earlier warned, it is a comedy to grab media headlines with bogus, phantom and fabricated claims of corrupt practices against former governor Amaechi.
“The public hearings have become a comedy of errors for the media. We maintain that Wike’s probe commission shall not achieve anything beyond political excitements, entertainment and theatrics.
“However, what the public may not know is that Wike’s deceptive probe of Amaech is a distraction to entertain and keep the public focus on his circus show, while he siphons and salt away billions of naira from the state treasury. From the moment he stepped into Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike has run a government of lies, deception and fraud.
“He first 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.
“Wike then claimed he met a completely empty treasury. That again is another big lie and grand deception to steal state funds. 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 repeat that N7.5 billion cash were left behind as balances in the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account with Skye Bank, FAAC account with Zenith Bank, balances with Access Bank and funds in the State reserve fund account in First Bank.
“This is besides other balances in the state Government House account with Zenith Bank and other government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) accounts, like the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).
“Amaechi left N939 million naira in the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme Account in Zenith Bank. By the time you pull all these balances together, we are looking at readily available cash in the region of eight to ten billion naira left for the Wike administration. We have mentioned banks, account names and funds left in the accounts. These are facts that cannot be distorted by Wike.
“If Wike says he’s not lying that he met an empty treasury, we challenge him to publish the statements of these government accounts that we have mentioned 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. But, we dare say, he will not because he runs a government of lies, deception and fraud, always wanting to hoodwink the public as he siphons billions of naira of state funds.
“Rather than this comedic, puerile and silly distraction he calls probe commission, Wike should explain to Rivers people what happened to the funds Amaechi left, the N30 billion naira loans he took under 30 days and other funds that has accrued to Rivers State since he became governor. Amaechi left a legacy of accountability; Rivers people expect nothing less from Wike.”
The Street Journal recalls that Wike had on June 19, set up a seven-man judicial commission of inquiry led by Justice George Omereji, to investigate the alleged sale of some Rivers State assets and projects for which funds were allegedly released but not executed by the Amaechi administration.