Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Friday set in motion the process of probing the immediate past administration of former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, by swearing in a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to be chaired by a High Court judge, Justice George Omiriji.
The terms of reference of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry is to probe the financial dealings of Amaechi’s administration.
In a statement issued last night and personally signed by Governor Wike, he said that the panel of inquiry is to probe the sale of state owned gas turbines at Omoku, Afam, Eleme and Trans Amadi and the withdrawal of N96 billion state reserve fund.
The panel is to ascertain who the buyers are and at what cost did they purchase the turbines.
Governor Wike’s administration also wants to know the circumstances surrounding the sale of Olympiad Hotel located on Forces Avenue, Old GRA and close to Government House, Port Harcourt that was later demolished by the new buyers.
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry is also to probe the multi-billion naira abandoned Monorail project.
Among the terms of reference is how the disbursement of N2 billion Agricultural Credit Fund was carried out by the Amaechi administration.
The panel is to submit its report 30 days from the day of its first sitting.
Meanwhile, Wike has dismissed as spurious, claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Rotimi Amaechi administration left about N7 billion in the state coffers.
He said he met an empty treasury left behind by his predecessor.
Speaking shortly after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Messrs Julius Berger Plc and CCECC Nigeria Limited to rehabilitate roads in the state on Thursday at Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike also further justified the N10 billion loan his administration has just taken.
He dismissed the campaign of calumny against his administration as malicious, frivolous and a futile attempt to soil his reputation.
To buttress his claim, the governor said: “the Accountant General is here and we know that we didn’t meet any money in the treasury.
“They said they left N7 billion, may be the money will be found in the handover notes because the Accountant-General told me the state FAAC account is in debit. But we have been hearing on radio that they kept N7 billion and I have not seen such amount of money.”
The governor insisted that all Permanent Secretaries should submit their statements of accounts in order to ascertain whether any money was left unaccounted for by the last administration.
Explaining why the State Government applied for the loan, Governor Wike said his administration is poised to complete all the important ongoing projects.
He further disclosed that the loan will be used to complete the following projects: the Law Faculty Building in the State University of Science and Technology, the renovation of the judiciary complex and the Rivers State House of Assembly buildings which are all derelict as a result of their closure for almost two years by Rotimi Amaechi.
The loan, he further said, will be used to complete the Akpajo/Woji Bypass, the Eagle Island link road and the Rivers Mall started by Sir Celestine Omehia.
“There is no need frittering away resources by abandoning projects. Government is a continuum,” he emphasised.