The Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set-up by Governor Nyesom Wike to investigate the immediate past administration of Rotimi Amaechi has revealed incriminating details under the government.
Investigations carried out by the judicial panel headed by Justice George Omereji disclosed these details on Wednesday following the submission of its report to Nyesom Wike.
Justice Omereji-panel claimed that Rotimi Amaechi illegally withdrew N53 billion out of the N55 billion Reserve Fund without recourse to due process. The alleged stolen money was said to have been withdrawn between 2014 and May 2015, shortly before Amaechi left office.
Justice Omereji said, “There was the sum of N55 billion in the State Reserve Fund. Between 2014 and May 2015, they (Rotimi Amaechi’s administration) were able to remove N53 billion and we found out that the money (N53 billion) was not used for the projects in the state. The money went to individuals. From the papers submitted to us, we also found out that the money was given to people they like.
“We went to the site of the Justice Karibi Whyte Hospital, we did not see anything at all. When I told the project contractor to come with us (panel) to the place, he said snakes would bite us (sic).
“But I insisted that we should go there. Behold, by the time we went inside, we did not see anything. The whole billions of Naira given to the man cannot be accounted for. We have recommended that those found culpable should refund the money. We even recommended that some people should be prosecuted.
“I don’t want to tell you those that will be prosecuted. It is not good for me to reveal the content of the recommendations now because we have just submitted our report.”
Justice Omereji of the judicial panel urged the Nyesom Wike-administration to prosecute those involved in the alleged withdrawal, bringing them to book.
“We hope that the government will act fast and by the time the government looks into this report and act fast, it will be able to recover billions that are still stashed in where they kept them.
“That money belongs to Rivers people and they should be recovered so that we can use it for the people of Rivers State,” Omereji added.
The ex-Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi is one of the 21 ministerial nominees of President Buhari, whose names were read on Tuesday on the floor of the Senate.
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