I’m not witch-hunting Amaechi, says Wike



RIVERS State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said setting up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the sales of strategic state assets by former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, is not to witch-hunt him.

He has however described as curious the failure of Amaechi’s administration to prosecute the owners of Clinotech which the state government paid the sum of $39.2 million for the construction of Justice Adolphus Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital, which was never constructed.

The governor who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, told journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday that the setting up of the judicial commission was necessitated by the curious circumstances surrounding the sales of vital state assets such as the four gas turbine power stations, the Olympia Hotel among others and the inability of his administration to trace the proceeds accruable to the state for the sales of these assets.

Wike said he does not intend to witch-hunt Amaechi and those who served in his cabinet, but he is only interested in ensuring that all state assets followed due process and the proceeds duly recovered.

The governor dismissed insinuation that the judicial commission was set up to tarnish Amaechi reputation so that President Muhammadu Buhari does not appoint him into his cabinet.

According to him, he has no interest in the appointment of Amaechi as minister since the President reserves the prerogative to determine those he considers credible, worthy and transparent that will work with him.

“It is illogical to say that the reason why we are complaining about the corruption in the past administration is because the governor does not want President Buhari to appoint Amaechi as a minister. Whether Amaechi gets appointment at the federal level or not, it does not have any effect on Nyesom Wike government. So, what is he (Amaechi) going to do to him as a minister or Federal Government appointee? Wike has not told anybody that he does not want President Buhari to appoint Amaechi as a minister,” he said.

He argued that since the former Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, had claimed that the sales of the state power stations were more profitable than those sold by the Federal Government, it is morally incumbent on the former governor and members of his cabinet to give account of the proceeds accruable to the state.

The governor explained that no amount of blackmail will stop the state government from investigating the now abandoned monorail project, the amount spent on several other projects, which the government believes were mere conduit to loot state resources.

He explained that when the commission of inquiry submits its findings, the government will determine whether it will petition the country’s anti-graft agencies to recover all stolen state assets.

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