Amaechi sues PDP, wants N300b in damages
The fight for the soul of Rivers State by the two leading political parties in the country, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has snowballed into another legal tango.
This time it is not in the precinct of the State Electoral Tribunal, but this time over the allegations and counter allegations that have hallmarked the state politics since the last general election.
The immediate past governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has sued the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, its Chairman, Chief Felix Obuah, and two others to an Abuja High Court over allegations that he embezzled $757m (N80billion) belonging to the state while in office.
Amaechi said in a statement on Tuesday that he had also sued the state PDP and two others for alleging that he operated a private foreign account where he lodged the said public funds.
Pundits see the move by Amaechi as the last ditch to save his political career which might be seriously injured if he fails to make the cabinet of president Muhammadu Buhari due to be announced any moment from now.
Political observers are of the view that it might be difficult for President Buhari to overlook some of the charges made against Amaechi and appoint him as a minister, as it might go against the very grain of his transparency avowals.
Incidentally, the he too had in the past made wide and unsubstantiated allegations against some members of the past Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The former governor did not identify the two other persons he joined in his suit.
According to him, the allegation has done a lot of harm to his person and reputation.
In the suit filed before an Abuja High Court, FCT, Amaechi is demanding N300 billion as damages.
Amaechi recalled that the state PDP on August 6, and August 21, 2015, alleged that he stole the sum of $757 million or N80 billion of Rivers money and stashed them away in an account in his name in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota, United State of America.
He said that ever since the said invidious and libelous publications by the PDP and Felix Obuah emerged in public domain, he had been ” confronted by several persons who expressed lack of respect, loss of faith in him and who no longer regard him as trustworthy and now view him as a common criminal.”
“The PDP also alleged that Amaechi had embezzled millions of dollars of Rivers State money and stashed the money in other foreign accounts in his name, including a bank in Switzerland. The PDP claimed that the various Amaechi foreign accounts were revealed and blown open by Christine Amanpour of America's Cable News Network,”he said in the statement.
The statement reads further, “The PDP went further to claim that Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, had written to President Muhammadu Buhari that part of the funds was to purchase a residence for Amaechi in America and that they (Bancorp Bank) intend to return the stolen funds to Nigeria.
“Against PDP, Felix Obuah and two others, Amaechi is seeking the sum of N300, 000, 000, 000.00 for general damages done to him and defamation of his character, reputation and person.”
Amaechi said that each of the said malicious publications by the PDP, its Rivers chairman Felix Obuah and two others, are untrue, false, motivated by ill-will and without any foundations in truth whatsoever.
We could immediately rich Obuah for his reaction.
Rivers APC has also put up spirited defence of the former governor, which it has severally insisted ran an open and transparent government.
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