18 January 2019

Nigeria: Governor Wike Blames Amaechi for Justice Onnoghen's Travails

The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has accused Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, of being responsible for the travails of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

The federal government on January 10 filed corruption charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal against Mr Onnoghen for allegedly failing to declare a series of his bank accounts, denominated in local and foreign currencies.

The tribunal has, however, been restrained by a federal high court, Abuja, from continuing with the trial of Mr Onnoghen.

The Rivers governor, Mr Wike, during a political rally on Thursday in Eleme, Rivers State, told a crowd of supporters that Mr Amaechi confessed in Abuja to being responsible for travails of the chief justice of Nigeria.

"At that meeting in Abuja last Monday, Amaechi confessed that he is the person behind the illegal crisis facing the CJN. He bragged that he will destroy the CJN the way he brought Former President Goodluck Jonathan down," a statement from the Rivers State Government House quoted Mr Wike to have said at the rally.

The governor did not, however, release any proof to back his allegation against Mr Amaechi.

"He (Amaechi) wants to destroy the nation's judiciary," Governor Wike said. "This particular evil will finally consume Amaechi."

A media aide to Mr Amaechi who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on Friday morning described Governor Wike's remarks as "libelous".

The minister's media office is going to issue a statement before the close of work on Friday, the aide said.

Governor Wike and Mr Amaechi have been political allies in the past before both men parted ways because of political differences.

The two have been locked in an epic political battle over the soul of Rivers State since Mr Amaechi defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013.

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