Panel Probing Amaechi’s Administration Begins Sitting Today

Panel Probing Amaechi’s Administration Begins Sitting Today

The judicial commission of inquiry set up by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state to investigate the previous administration has started sitting.

Declaring open the panel, the chairman of the commission, Justice George Omereji, dismissed the suggestion that the commission is on a witch-hunt.

Omoreji said that the panel will give a fair hearing to all parties, stressing that those that will be invited by the commission are free to get legal representative, Daily Post reports.

He added that one of the commission's terms of reference is to investigate the sale of the valued assets of Rivers state.

READ ALSO: Amaechi Is Not Operating Foreign Banks Accounts - APC

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He said: “I must state here that the Commission is a fact finding body and not a court of Law. It is not on a witch hunting mission and its activities would be strictly based on the memoranda submitted by the parties.

“The Commission shall uphold the principle of fair hearing, give adequate and equal opportunities to all concerned persons to state their cases and tender relevant documents that shall assist the commission.”

The commissioner for agriculture, Emma Chinda, was invited to explain how he disbursed a four billion naira agricultural loan but failed to honour the invitation.

Testifying before the commission, the permanent secretary of the state Ministry of Agriculture, Sotonye Atari-Okoye, said contrary to the belief that Amaechi approved N4 billion for the agricultural credit scheme, she said it was N3 billion.

Atari-Okoye explained that about N2.9 billion was disbursed to different co-operative societies and was approved by the former commissioner of the ministry.

She said this during her cross examination by the probe panel.

Speaking in the same vein, the director of planning, research and statistics in the Ministry of Agriculture, Chijioke Amadi, who also appeared before the panel, said that more than two thousand co-operative societies benefitted from the grant.

Amadi, who also served as the chairman of the credit committee, disclosed to the panel that those that benefitted from the loans were chosen by the former commissioner.

READ ALSO: Amaechi Blasts Wike Over Probe Commission

Also testifying before the commission, the permanent secretary of the state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Cordelia Morris-Peterside, said when questioned over the registration of the co-operative societies that most of them had links with 23 local government chairmen in the state.

The commission's lawyer, Zacheus Adangor asked the panel to give an order to mandate the former commissioner, Emma Chinda, to appear before it.

Meanwhile, Amaechi had stated that despite the allegations by his successor that he left an empty treasury, the former governor insists he left about N10 billion in the state's coffers.

Source: Legit.ng

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Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined Legit.ng in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email: khadeeejathabit@gmail.com

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