By Linda Nwogu,-Port Harcourt
The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, said it has uncovered a plot by Governor Nyesom Wike to smear, intimidate and blackmail the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa and other Appeal Court Justices using the so-called Integrity Group led by one Livingstone Wechie and his cohorts.
In a statement signed by the State Chairman of the party,Dr. Ibiamu Ikanya he said,”the APC wishes to reveal that members of the Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative, also known as Integrity Group were activated by Governor Nyesom Wike to draft and make a publication that will effectively intimidate and blackmail Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa and others over the pending Ojukaye Flag-Amachree matter in court.
He added that, “Livingstone Wechie and his political jobber friends drafted the document and presented same to the governor in a meeting where the document was further fine tuned for publication. To cover the cost of giving the publication a wide local, national and possibly international spread, Gov. Nyesom Wike allegedly handed Livingstone Wechie and his disciples the sum of N10m.”
Dr. Ibiamu stated that the APC wishes to reveal that Gov. Nyesom Wike had earlier attempted to reach justices of the Court of Appeal in order to compromise the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree trial but when he was rebuffed he then resorted to the use of his standby political jobbery outfit, the Integrity Group in blackmailing the judiciary.
He said that another proof that Ojukaye Flag-Amachree is being victimised for political reasons stems from the widely published statement made by Hon. Austin Opara that Gov. Nyesom Wike was out to jail Hon. Flag-Amachree at all costs to serve as an example to other APC members in Rivers State.
Curiously, the Judge handling the kangaroo trial of Ojukaye Flag-Amachree is Justice Margaret Opara, wife of Austin Opara who is presently holidaying with his family in South Africa at the expense of the Rivers taxpayer.
In his words,”Again, it is pertinent to mention that OCJ Okocha, SAN is central in all the meetings that have led to the drafting of the document including conceptualising and personally fine-tuning it. The APC can also confirm that at the time of sending out this press release, four leading national newspapers [names with-held] have rejected the publication due to ethical and professional considerations.”
Ibiamu also alleged that a critical look at the document which bears the format of an open letter to the Chairman, National Judicial Council [NJC] and Chief Justice of Nigeria, reveals very damaging and unfounded allegations against Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa with regard to the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree matter.
He noted that the APC is worried that a sitting governor will descend so low to activate his cronies to defame, rubbish and blackmail respected members of the Nigerian bench at its highest level. “This is indeed as despicable as it is primitive.”
According to him, “APC is appalled that no less a personality than OCJ Okocha, who is also a member of the National Judicial Council, has decided to diminish his status to that of undermining and compromising the judicial system to aid the exploits of a dubious political associate and friend.
The APC State Chairman further alleged that over the weekend, Gov. Nyesom Wike and OCJ Okocha allegedly moved N500m in physical cash to Abuja in a private chartered aircraft.
He said that there is no doubt that the money belongs to Rivers people. The APC would like the governor of Rivers State to tell Rivers people why their N500m was moved to Abuja outside of the banking system. However, indications point to untoward motive on the part of the governor for such a huge illegal cash movement.
Ibiamu on behalf of APC calls on the Chairman of the National Judicial Council [NJC] and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed to be wary of the antics of Gov. Nyesom Wike especially as he is ever determined to destroy the highly treasured reputation of members of the Bench whenever he fails in his attempts to compromise the judiciary.
He said that the APC calls on security agents to prevent the wanton looting of monies belonging to Rivers people by the governor under the cover of immunity ably aided by his acolytes.