Over 18 Commissioners who served under Rt Hon.Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi yesterday cleared the air over allegations that the immediate past administration headed by Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi embezzled over N53B of Rivers State funds.
Speaking during a PRESS Conference held at the Nigeria Union Of Journalist Press Center in Moscow Road Portharcourt,a former Commissioner of Information Mrs.Ibim Semintari stated that the Press Briefing became necessary followings series of events that has presided the past days and days to come,she maintained that Amaechi hands are clean of the allegations levelled against him by the Rivers State Government headed by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike
“All of you as media practitioners in Rivers State are aware of the events leading up to and after the elections in Rivers state. You all are also aware of the controversy that trailed the setting up of the Justice George Omereji judicial commission of enquiry and our position as robustly espoused by the former Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Worgu Boms. Our position now as at then was based on the following:
1. It is illegal for a governor to set up a judicial commission of inquiry.
2. While inaugurating the commission Mr. Ezebunwon Nyesom Wike had charged the committee to amongst other things “investigate the illegal sales of the power plants.” This statement by itself was evidence enough that a position had been taken by the Rivers State Government.
3. The Chairman of the Commission itself had himself stated “ if it was before me and sitting as a judge of a serious biting – biting court, you would have seen what is going to happen to people that are corrupt. I would have ordered the arrest of those corrupt officials who decided not to follow procedure and lock them up and maintain it.” This comment long before all parties had appeared before him was another confirmation of our position that the Commission’s report was already pre determined.
4. Government is a continum and Government policy is as determined by the administration of the day. Decisions of the State Executive Council are implemented by Ministries, Departments and Agencies and all records are domiciled in the ministries. As former commissioners we had each submitted our hand over notes to the Secretary to State Government as well as our Permanent Secretaries and so every record required by the successor government are available with the MDA’s. Our attention would only be required for routine clarification where this may be necessary.
Also Speaking,a former Commisioner of Finance Mr.Chamberlin Peterside said he refused to appear before the commision after he read the huge amount of money,which were contradictory,Peterside said for Governor Wike and his panel to accuse them of stealing 97Billion naira means a lot to ponder by Rivers People,he also stated that contrary to public view that Amaechi refused to appear before the panel,headed by Justice Omereji,the Panel neither extended its inviation to him,nor did Amaechi received any invitation