Governor Nyesom Wike has gone for the jugular of former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state today by swearing in a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to be chaired by High Court judge, Justice George Omiriji to probe the financial dealings of the immediate past administration.
In a statement issued last night and signed by Wike said that the panel of inquiry is to probe the sale of state owned gas turbines at Omoku, Afam, Eleme and Trans Amadi and the withdrawal of N96 billion state reserve fund.
The panel is to ascertain who the buyers are and at what cost.
Wike also wants know the circumstances surrounding the sale of Olympiad Hotel located along Forces Avenue, old GRA, a stone throw from Government House Port Harcourt that was later demolished by the new buyers.
The Judicial Commission of inquiry is also to probe the multi-billion naira abandoned Monorail project. Among the terms of reference include; the disbursement of N2 billion Agricultural Credit Fund.
The panel is to submit its report 30 days from the day of its first sitting.
Meanwhile Wike has dismissed as spurious, claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Rotimi Amaechi’s administration left about N7billion in the state coffers. He said that Amaechi’s government left an empty treasury behind.
Speaking shortly after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Messrs Julius Berger PLC and CCECC Nigeria Limited to rehabilitate roads in the state on Thursday at Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike also further justified the N10 billion loan his administration took. He dismissed the war of calumny against his administration as malicious, frivolous and a futile attempt to sully his reputation.
To bolster his claim, the governor said:, “The Accountant General is here and we know that we didn’t meet any money in the treasury”
He posited that: “In the hand over notes the Accountant-General told me the state FAAC account is in debit. But we have been hearing on radio that they left N7 billion but I have not seen such an amount of money”.
Against this backdrop, the governor insisted that all Permanent Secretaries should submit their statements of accounts in order to ascertain whether any money was left unaccounted for by the last administration.
Explaining why the state government applied for the loan, Governor Wike said his administration is poised to complete all the important ongoing projects.
He further disclosed that the loan will be used to complete the following projects: the Law Faculty Building in the State University of Science and Technology, the renovation of the judiciary complex and the Rivera State House of Assembly buildings which are all derelict as a result of the their closure for almost two years by Rotimi Amaechi. The loan, he further revealed, will be used to complete the Akpajo/Woji Bypass, the Eagle Island link Road and the Rivers Mall started by Sir Celestine Omehia.
“There is no need frittering away resources by abandoning projects. Government is a continuum”, he emphasized.