Wike Promises to Implement Commission Report | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Wike Promises to Implement Commission Report

Posted: Oct 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
By Daniel Abia
The judicial commission of inquiry set up by the government of Rivers State to probe the activities of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s administration on Wednesday October 7 submitted its report.
“Anyone fund culpable in misdirecting the funds of Rivers State will be prosecuted according to the laws of the land. And if found culpable, could be sent to jail,” Justice George Omereji, chairman of the commission said when submitting the report in Government House.
Ometreji noted that senior officials of  Amaechi’s government will have to return billions of naira carted away from the state’s Reserve Fund.
Omereji who later spoke to journalists after presenting his voluminous report to Governor Nyesom Wike at the Council Chamber, government house, urged the governor to as a matter of urgency implement the report.
According to him, N53 billion of the N55 billon Reserve Fund were indiscriminately disbursed.
“From our findings,  most of the N53 billion were not properly disbursed. It is only proper that government officials who handled such funds should account for them.
“We visited the so-called site of the Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte  Specialist Hospital, Igurrita, Greater Port Harcourt, but to our utmost shock and dismay, there was nothing to show for it.”
Justice Omereji declared that “anyone, no matter how high, who was part of these woeful sqandamania must be held to account for the thought less spending of public wealth.”
Speaking after accepting the report, Governor Wike  stated that no amount of intimidation will debar the state government from implementing the recommendation of the commission.
Wike asserted: “The government gave you an assignment. And you have judiciously presented your report. Be rest assured that the government will do the needful without fear or favour. The interest of the people of Rivers State  will always determine our actions.
”If you go to the reserve fund, we had N55 billion. But between 2014 and May, 2015, they were able to remove N53 billion. We found out that, that money was not used for the projects in the state; it went to some individuals. This finding was from their own paper submitted to us. We also discovered that the money was given to people they like.
“We went to some of the projects’ sites, like at the Justice Karibe Whyte Specialist Hospital, we did not see anything at all when we went there. When I even told the project contractor that we should go to the basement, he was afraid, saying that snakes would bite us. But I insisted as I told him that even if we see the snake, we would march on it and it would die. Behold, when we went inside, nothing. The whole billions of naira given to the man were all in vain. There was nothing to show for the money.”
On the Olympia Hotel, Justice Omereji said “I was disappointed because of the nature of the agreement they said they reached. But we have recommended something.
“I don’t want to start talking about the contents of the report we have just submitted. The government will look at; the one they want to accept, they will accept. It is not good for me to reveal the content of the recommendation now because it has just been submitted.
“We recommended that those found culpable should refund the money. If you are found culpable, we even recommended that some people should be prosecuted. I don’t want to tell you the name of those people (indicted) but it is in the report.
“I know that in the course of this assignment, you and your members have received a lot of comments. But one thing you can understand is that when you are called to service, not everybody will be happy for one thing or the other.
“But you have taken the bull by the horns to make sure that you serve your fatherland. I know what your members have faced; I know about the threats. What is important in live is that once you arrive at the fact that your conscience is clear, you don’t need to worry. Go ahead and do what you think is the right thing to be done.
“This will not be like any other report; we will make sure that we swing into action immediately to see that the recommendations made by the commission are implemented. We will not be intimidated by anybody or group of persons. Many things have been done to discredit the commission. But to me, it is when your hands are not clean, you begin to use the media to discredit people’s work.
“So, for us, we will swing into action; we will look into what is in the report and of course try to see that we implement them to the later. We commend you for the job done and also seek that any time you are called upon to serve the state, do not relent to serve the people and your fatherland. We will make sure members of the public are aware of the content of the report and the next line of action that government will take,” Wike promised.