THE Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, said on Wednesday that his administration would implement the recommendations of the Justice George Omereji-led judicial commission of inquiry without fear or ill will.The commission was set up by the governor to probe the sale of Rivers’ assets and to also look into other matters concerning the management of state resources by the past administration.
Wike said that his government would not allow financial crimes to be committed with impunity in Rivers, adding that the criticism against the panel will not deter him from taking decisions aimed at moving the state forward.
Explaining that his administration was not the first to establish a commission of inquiry, he recalled that his predecessor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, set up the Justice Kayode Esho commission of inquiry and added that former governor Peter Odili appeared before the panel.
Wike, who spoke in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, also recalled that Odili appeared before the Esho panel despite a remark credited to Esho on a perpetual injunction concerning him (Odili).
He dismissed the allegations that the Omereji-led commission of inquiry was established purposely to indict Amaechi, adding that the panel was set up based on the relevant laws of the state.
“The implementation of the commission’s recommendations shall be devoid of fear or favour, affection or ill will. The refusal to appear before the panel is an admission of guilt. The allegation that the Justice Omereji’s commission of inquiry is a subterfuge to indict Rotimi Amaechi suffers from the eclipse of reasoning and poverty of logic.
“Amaechi set up the Justice Kayode Esho’s commission and when former governor Peter Odili was invited, he obliged despite the fact that Justice Esho had made some uncomplimentary remarks about a perpetual injunction concerning Odili,” Wike said.
The governor added that he inherited a wobbly economy and poor state treasury.
Wike pointed out that it was wrong for the All Progressives Congress in the state to condemn the setting up of a commission of inquiry when his predecessor did not hand over to his administration.
He said, “The Omereji’s panel was set up to probe the expenditures made by Amaechi’s government, which is what any responsible government will do because the taxpayers’ money is not for one man, especially when certain financial transactions are opaque.
“It is even more important when the outgoing administration demurred to hand over or when there are no handover notes. The welter of criticisms by the APC in Rivers State is actuated by the fear of exposure. It is just hocus-pocus.
“Governor Wike inherited a hobbling economy and a suffocating treasury. He provided the life-saving machine and today, the state is recuperating. The sittings (of the panel) were not done clandestinely and all that was expected of Amaechi and his acolytes was for them to appear and prove their innocence.”
Wike, however, added that in establishing a panel of inquiry, he was following the example of President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as an embodiment of probity and rectitude.