Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government of shielding the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, from prosecution for allegedly misappropriating proceeds from the sales of some state assets.
The Governor said it was disingenuous for the Federal Government to commission the rehabilitation of a narrow gauge railway from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri at a time when the rest of the world was building a standard gauge railway.
Wike spoke during the inauguration of 6.1km long, 7.3m wide Omuihuechi-Omuoko-Omokiri link Road in Aluu Ikwerre Local Government Area on Wednesday.
The Governor said it was appalling that the Federal Government had continued to protect Amaechi from prosecution for his alleged inability to account for $308million from the sales of the state-owned power plant and other critical assets when he was Rivers Governor.
Wike noted such protection emboldened the Minister to consistently made efforts to undermine the state government by influencing postings of the Commissioner of Police and General Officer Commanding, the Nigerian Army to Rivers State.
He said: “People gave you opportunity. You sold our properties, everything. And people are talking in this state because of the government that says they are fighting corruption and protecting people.
“You (Amaechi) sold our property for $308million and kept for us $208,000. That is the kind of people parading themselves in government, for a government that says they are fighting corruption, shame.”
But Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) accused Wike of abusing the immunity clause and asked him to go and prove his case in court.
The party’s spokesman, Ogbonna Nwuke, said: “It is not the first time that Wike will come up with such wild allegations.
“This man talks before he thinks and believes that because he is a governor and enjoys immunity he can say anything against anyone at any time.
“The person he is accusing of corruption had a clear agenda and Rivers people know. He had budgets that people could see. He had projects that went through due process.
“But the one who is accusing him of corruption hides the budget of the people from the people. And he has the audacity to get into the public space to open his mouth and close as he likes.
“Knowing Wike the way I know him right from the time we were appointed at the same time and we served the same government, the first time the EFCC came to Rivers State under the administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi it was because of Wike.
“If he says hate Amaechi is corruption he should go to court. Is the court also protecting Amaechi from prosecution? He set up the Omereji committee, what did the committee find? Nothing.
“Yet he continues to parrot his mouth saying anything he likes. Let him go to court and prove it. He is the Head of the government”.