Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, on Friday, ordered the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccheaus Adangor, to immediately commence the prosecution of his predecessor and former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, over alleged fraudulent sale of state assets and diversion of $50m.
Wike said those to be prosecuted also include Rivers State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Tonye Cole and his company, Sahara Energy.
He said it was imperative that the people of Rivers State and the entire world know what actually happened to the $50 million that disappeared from the coffers of the state without any proof of being spent on any legitimate government business.
Wike gave the directives at the Executive Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt, during the inauguration of three new commissioners.
Issuing the directive, the governor said, “Attorney General, you’re at a critical period where people want to know what the state is going to do with the Judicial Panel of Inquiry after the Supreme Court judgement on it.
“Luckily, you came at the right time when we have preferred criminal charges against the former governor (Amaechi), Sahara Energy, Tonye Cole and the rest of them.
“So, you are coming at the right time to take over the matter and to make sure it is prosecuted diligently. I don’t want to hear excuses. Let the people see what happened to our money.
“The world will see how $50 million from our account was moved to a company without nothing to show whether there was a business.”
He also directed the state’s newly appointed attorney general and commissioner for justice to send a protest letter to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission over the harassment of Rivers Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Siminalaye Fubara.
Aside from the attorney general and commissioner for justice, others sworn-in by Governor Wike are Isaac Kamalu, Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning and Dr. George-Kelly, Dakorinama Alabo, Commissioner for Works and Special Projects.
He recalled that EFCC operatives attempted to harass and intimidate Fubara, who was the state’s accountant-general before his emergence as the PDP governorship candidate of Rivers State.
Wike warned the EFCC that his administration would not accept such behaviour, stressing that the anti-graft agency should be aware that the era of impunity and flagrant disobedience to the rule of law had gone.
He warned that the state government would drag EFCC to court for contempt if it did not retrace its steps.
Wike said the Rivers State Government had earlier secured a court judgment stopping the EFCC from investigating the state finances or its officers.
He stated that there was also a subsisting order obtained by the PDP governorship candidate on the enforcement of his fundamental rights against EFCC.
Wike said, “Rivers State Government had judgment against EFCC since 2007. The court said you (EFCC) has no business in the financial transactions of the (Rivers) State. EFCC has been struggling to set aside that judgement until now. They have not even appealed it.
“We are in a political period. People should not think that they will use EFCC to intimidate or manipulate him (Fubara). Nobody will accept that. So you (Attorney General) have to attach the judgment of the candidate against EFCC and send the right signal to them that we are not people that can be cowed.”