Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government ordered former Governor Chibuke Amaechi, retired Brigadier Anthony Ukpo, former military administrator of the State and some former political office holders to refund over N97 billion allegedly misappropriated in the sales of the State valued assets.
Also, the State government had directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Chinwe Aguma, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to commence the process of prosecuting the Amaechi and two others, over the sale of the state’s four gas turbines without due process.
State Governor, Nyesom Wike ordered the suspension of permanent secretaries and other top civil servants indicted by the report of the Justice George Omereji-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the sales of valued assets of the state during the immediate past administration.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the state executive council meeting after receiving the White Paper on the Commission’s report, the Commissioner for Housing, Barrister Emma Okah, said Amaechi would be prosecuted along with the former Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside and his counterpart in the Ministry of Power, Sir Augustine Nwokocha.
Okah said the state government also ordered the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, to commence the recovery of funds realized from the sale of the four gas turbines from the former governor and Nwokocha.
He said: “ The first term of reference is to ascertain the sale of the Omoku 150 megawatts gas turbine; Afam 360 megawatts gas turbine; Trans-Amadi 136 megawatts gas turbine and the Eleme 75 megawatts gas turbine by the administration of former Governor Chibhike Rotimi Amaechi.
“The commission finds as a fact that the sale of 70% equity from the First Independent Power Limited in Omoku gas turbine, Trans-Amadi gas turbine, Afam Phase I gas turbine and Eleme gas turbine, have been very difficult to justify. They have therefore recommended the review of sale of the power assets and the government of Rivers State has accepted that recommendation.
“The commission recommends that the former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, along with his former commissioners for Finance and Power, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside and Augustine Nwokocha, respectively, should be held to account for their roles in the sales of the power generation assets of First Independent Power Limited and the disbursement of the proceeds there from.
“Government accepts this recommendation and directs the office of the Honorable Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice, to promptly set in motion the appropriate machinery for the recovery of the proceeds of the sale of the gas turbines from the former governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, and every other persons implicated in the commission’s report.”
Okah stated that the state government has directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to recover the three billion from former Commissioner for Agriculture, Emma Chinda, which were meant for agricultural free loans to farmers.