The world watched with great disbelief as Chief Nyesom Wike spoke at Aluu at the commissioning of an about 6.1 kilometres road in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State yesterday ( Wednesday).Not that the world was astonished by most of the Governor’s brawls or in the manner he dramatized his utterances with the full compliment of drumming by his praise-singers. No. He actually said nothing new, save his disclosure that the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is shielding his predecessor as Governor of Rivers State and now Honourable Minister for Transportation from prosecution for corruption. This is taking absurdities to unbeknownst levels.
A Wike who does not sit in the office of Governor of Rivers State at his own pleasure and design cannot say that. He swore to the official Oaths circumscribed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and must be held accountable for the words he speaks by the dictates of that Constitution. Every other thing is mere sophistry. Including the poor attempt to rubbish the grand entry of the Buhari Federal Government into Rivers State with the Bonny Deep Seaport and Railway Industrial Park in Port Harcourt by singling out the Narrow Guage Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail line for laughable attacks.
The Constitution is clear about which Officer is empowered with the prosecutorial powers of the Federation. There is, thankfully, a provision for an Attorney-General for the States of the Federation, as distinct from and independent of, that of the entire Federation. The same Constitution does not empower the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation (HAGF) howsoever to exercise supervisory powers or roles over the 36 at the level of the States. It goes without saying therefore that Wike lied when he proceeds in full public glare to create the impression that some powers-that be in Abuja are obstructing his avowed quest to destroy his former boss and Ikwerre brother.
Suffice to state that the Wike who is living in a bubble about legal impediments to his ambition to nail Amaechi needs no reminder that this same Buhari-led Federal Government was in power and had already appointed Amaechi as Minister when he dragged the duo of Hon Ojukaye Flag Amachree and Dr. Chidi Julius Lloyd on murder and sundry charges before the High Court of Rivers State. Wike arraigned both men in 2016 through his demised Attorney-General, Emmanuel Chinwewo Aguma, and not the Abubakar Malami appointed the HAGF by President Buhari. Ahead of their arraignment, both Ojukaye and Chidi Lloyd (at the time the latter was still one of the most visible leaders of the Rivers APC) were not arrested by a Nigerian Police contingent or unit over which Wike appointed an Inspector-General. However, we should remember that at the time of these arrests and arraignment, a State Police answerable to Wike under the command of Dr. Uche Mike Chukwuma as Director-General was already on ground and the Neighbourhood Watch could as well have arrested those targets without Abuja moving a limb. Wike is that powerful.
The Wike who would do anything for personal political profit must be thinking that the world was snoring when he contracted Livingstone Wechie to file tons of petition at the National Assembly on the same allegations of corruption with the intent to block the confirmation of the appointment of Amaechi to the cabinet of President Buhari. He must be sorely aggrieved that the effort which was a culmination of the hurried constitution of a Justice George Omereji Panel of Inquiry hit the rocks.
We all know how Wike can turn water into wine in the Judiciary. We all know how his endless car gifts, houses and large monetary bazaar on judicial officers across our country has turned our law courts at all levels to white sepulchre and a laughing stock in most of the decisions with Nyesom Wike in the mix or his interest is glaring. With the Wike who overruled the Supreme Court in her October 25, 2007 decision on the status of Sir Celestine Omehia as Rivers Governor against you in a Court in Nigeria, anything and everything can happen. With Wike on the other side, a Judge in this same country has ruled on a civil matter fraught with conflicts in Affidavit evidence before him without calling oral witnesses to resolve the glaring conflicts. With Wike against you, we are witnesses to several other embarrassing decisions which constitute a whitewash of our hitherto revered Judiciary. Only yesterday, the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt told the world that it struck out a suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2016 because THERE WAS NO NOTICE OF APPEAL IN THE RECORDS OF THE COURT. Meanwhile, the SAN the Court of superior records embarrassed with that judgment is, without arguments, one of Nigeria’s finest in that cadre!
So who is Wike beguiling over any judicial bottlenecks stalling his desire to prosecute and jail Amaechi to his eternal pride and relief? Let him activate his judicial contacts to quickly dispense with Amaechi’s challenge at the Supreme Court of the composition and legal validity of the Justice Omereji Panel to clear the way for sending the Ubima man to jail. We need to see that happen ASAP so we can have our peace from the bellow of political rhetoric at the next commissioning of projects by the greatest Rivers State Governor that ever lived.
•Barr.Sogbeye Eli is a Port-Harcourt-based Lawyer and Public Affairs Analyst.