Opposition to the ministerial nomination, Tuesday, of former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has continued to mount with a fresh petition from his state submitted on the floor of the Senate plenary, Wednesday.
This follows another petition to President Muhammadu Buhari and the senate by an anti-corruption group against the nomination and confirmation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, who was instrumental to the victory of the party at the 2015 General Elections in the country.
Earlier Tuesday, the Rivers State Police Command had issued a warning to indigenes and residents alike in the state to desist from any form of protests against the nomination of Amaechi from the state by the President Buhari government.
Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, George Sekibo, had stunned proceedings at the house, Wednesday, when he formally handed in a petition to the Saraki, said to be against the nomination and subsequent confirmation of Amaechi from the state as minister of the Buhari cabinet.
The petition which was greeted by loud boos from the APC senators was however, submitted to Saraki who received it ahead of further deliberations and screening of the nominees which is expected to formally kick off, next Tuesday.
It would also be recalled that the Integrity Group, an anti-corruption group, petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate protested the nomination of Amaechi, as a ministerial nominee, citing allegations of fraudulent practices during his tenure as the governor of the state.
The group argued that ‘Amaechi is yet clear his name over allegations of fraud concerning the sale of the state power plants and conversion of proceeds running into $302 million, unlawful payment of over N4 billion to Clinoriv Specialist Hospital and unlawful enrichment of a firm, Messrs Collect Nigeria Ltd., with public funds amounting to over N1.5 billion.’
In an address in a press briefing in Abuja, Tuesday, the Publicity Director of Integrity Group, Livingstone Wechie, alleged that Amaechi is currently being investigated by anti-corruption agencies for unlawful enrichment and conversion of over N70 billion state resources and as such, should not be made a minister in the country.
Wechie added that ‘Amaechi has resisted efforts to get him to explain the circumstances regarding the monies to the people of Rivers State, as he failed to appear before the recent Justice Omereji-led Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up by the state government.’
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has alerted of plans by some groups to stage protests over the Tuesday nomination of Amaechi for ministerial portfolio, as it warned the people of the state to desist moves that could jeopardize the peace of the state.
A statement issued on Tuesday in Port Harcourt by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ahmad Muhammad (DSP), on behalf of the state Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, read: “The Rivers State Police Commissioner of Police has uncovered clandestine moves by two opposing groups to stage a protest in Port Harcourt purposely to express their support or opposition to the ministerial nomination of Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Accordingly, the commissioner of police hereby warns these groups to jettison the plan to stage the protest so as not truncate the existing peaceful co-existence in the state. While the command respects the individuals’ right of peaceful assembly, it will not tolerate a situation where such protests will lead to breach of public peace and breakdown of law and order.”