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N5B FRAUD SAGA, APPEAL COURT THROWS OUT EFFC CHARGES AGAINST AMAECHI'S CHIEF OF STAFF – THE GOVT AND PEOPLE OF RIVERS STATE DEMAND UNCONDITIONAL PUBLIC APOLOGY AND REBUTTAL FROM EFFC

By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The quashing of the N5B fraud charges brought against Chief Nyesom Wike, Chief of Staff of the Rivers State Governor by the EFCC by the Appeal Court Abuja on 17th July, 2009, ably demonstrates that EFFC had hitherto been pursuing a hidden vendetta agenda in a case of misplaced priority which is itself precarious to the development and growth of the Rivers State. At the peak of Wike's travail, when he and Mr. Magnus Abe, SSG to the Rivers State Government were held in custody by the EFFC, the apparatus and operations of governance in Rivers State was abruptly grounded. Needless to say, this unconstitutional act of detaining the key members of Amaechi's team was seen in some quarters as a deliberate attempt to destabilise the operations of the State government under the Governor's focused and determined Leadership. In an attempt to discredit the incumbent government, the EFCC arrogated to itself the unconstitutional responsibility of checking the account books of the State Government and by so doing usurping the powers and functions of the State House of Assembly. We give kudos to the Judiciary for once again demonstrating maturity and establishing itself as not only the bastion of our democracy but also the last hope of the common man. Justices Olujimi Lokulo-Sodipe, Abdu Aboki and Olukayode Bada have demonstrated through this historical judgement proven that Judiciary can be trusted at any time.

For this embarrassing act capable of resulting in a complete loss of confidence in the Executive and the ensuing unanimous verdict by three members of the appellate Court in favour of Wike, we the stakeholders in this administration hereby call on the EFCC to issue as a matter of urgency an unconditional public apology to the Rivers State Government and its people for its failed attempt to derail the focused leadership of Gov. Amaechi by portraying his administration as corrupt.

It is sad that EFFC both under the erstwhile leadership of Ribadu and now Waziri, is widely regarded as a Vendetta tool to be used against real and perceived enemies of the government or any parties or bodies with the needed clout to use government machinery to its advantage. This notwithstanding, it beats our imagination that some two years after proven facts of corruptible practices and wanton looting of Rivers State Government coffers have emerged against Sir Peter Odili, the erstwhile Governor of Rivers State is yet to be brought to book by the EFCC.

In Dr Odili's eight years at the helms of affairs in the state, only about thirty roads were attended to. However, within two years of Amaechi's administration a conservative total of about 245 roads are under construction in various parts of the State. Even with Odili's antecedents as a Medical Doctor, the Health Sector of the state was moribund, with very few medical establishments given attention during his tenure. Whilst over 150 model Health centres, thee major Health Institutions (Delta, Mega Hospital and Mother and Child Care etc) are currently under construction glaringly testify to Amaechi's commitment to bringing sanity to the Health sector.

During Odili's infamous regime, no PPP Project was initiated, but Amaechi's regime in its two years of existence, has recorded at least four major PPP initiative projects in the State - (The International Market, Mother and Child Hospital, Mega Hospital and the Silver Bird Cinema).

With all these facts, any average person on the street would wonder why an administration having existed for eight years with the kind of gargantuan allocations it received and no sustainable projects to show for it has not been placed under EFCC microscope instead emphasis is being placed on an administration which impact and efforts are worldly acknowledged. We are therefore of the opinion that until such a time EFFC brings Odili and his master, General Obasanjo to book, EFFC should stop playing on our sensibility.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Rivers State Action Congress, Publicity Secretary