Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Sunday, described as an absurdity, the obsession of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to probe his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, over an alleged N96 billion fraud.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, stressed that Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party is on a mission to witch-hunt and embarrass Amaechi because he is a member of the opposition in the state, the All Progressives Congress.

The group also said it was an irony how that Wike has been hell-bent to humiliate Amaechi through a phantom probe of Amaechi’s eight-year term as Rivers governor but the same Wike has allegedly been shielding the 2023 PDP governorship candidate in Rivers, Siminialayi Fubara, from being arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite that Fubara, the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers, and three other top state government officials, had been declared wanted by the anti-graft agency for alleged N117 billion fraud.

HURIWA frowns upon this double standards by Wike and called the governor to act in the interest of justice, fairness and equity and not to be moved by political animosity and hatred.

Recall that the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by Amaechi, an ex-Minister of Transportation, seeking to stop his probe over an alleged N96 billion fraud but the nation’s Apex court categorically ruled that the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Rivers State’s governor Mr. Nyesom Wike has no power in law to make indictment because it has no prosecutorial powers.

The Commission of Inquiry hurriedly set up by Wike has an agenda to look into the lawfulness or otherwise of the alleged sale of Rivers State’s valuable assets, such as Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel and the award of contract for the execution of the Mono Rail project.

Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Whilst we do not support any form of unaccountability and transparency just as we believe that the probe of any serving or past government officials is sacrosanct, HURIWA frowns upon double standards by Governor Nyesom Wike.

“It is an eyesore that the governor is pursuing a witch-hunt agenda against his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, for obvious reasons and he (Wike) failed to reckon that he has been allegedly shielding the 2023 PDP governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara, from being picked by the EFCC.

“Wike has not also deemed it fit to advise Fubara to surrender himself to the anti-graft agency but continue to watch on as the governorship candidate evade arrests brazenly.

“Fighting corruption must be entire and not selective. Wike should stop his clandestine agenda and ensure what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

HURIWA said the decision to drag Mr.Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi to the Rivers State High Court few hours after the Supreme Court’s verdict that stated that the board of Inquiry by Governor Nyesom Wike has no power to indict anybody and then Nyesom Wike said that Rivers State’s elders will decide if his Administration will sue Mr Rotimi Amaechi the immediate past Rivers State Governor,  shows that the reason for this sham prosecution of the former Transportation Minister is just a show of shame and a misapplication of the judicial powers to achieve predetermined politically tainted end. “When did the Rivers State’s elders voted to compel Nyesom Wike to go to court? Who were the elders that voted and why subject the court system in Rivers to ridiculous manipulation? If the Rivers State’s governor has convincing evidence of committal of any crime by the immediate past administration in Rivers State, is it for the elders to decide whether going to court was right or wrong? What all the dramas show is that the ongoing legal action against Rotimi Amaechi is spurious, politically motivated,  unnecessary and is a product of hate politics and politics of animosity. We are asking Governor Nyesom Wike to stop stoking up tension in his own State and follow due process of the law by surrendering his officials wanted by EFCC for alleged heist of humonguous amount of public fund right under his nose.”

June 25, 2022

Emmanuel Onwubiko

National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).

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