A former Rivers State Accountant General and Wike’s stooge, Fubara Siminialayi is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking to SaharaReporters, a member of the APC alleged the Rivers State Government filed a nine-count charge of stealing, conspiracy and cheating against Cole and others in order to stop him from being on the ballot paper.
Recalled Wike in 2015 set up a seven-man panel to probe his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi over an alleged withdrawal of N96 billion from the state’s treasury during the latter’s tenure as governor.
The panel headed by Justice George Omekeji also investigated issues surrounding the “sale of assets” by the former governor.
The listed valuable assets are Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel, and the contract award for the execution of Mono Rail Project.
The panel submitted its report in 2015, while Amaechi has insisted that he is not guilty of fraud.
However, on May 27, 2022, the Supreme Court dismissed an application by the immediate past Transportation Minister, challenging the probe.
Weeks after the judgment, Wike directed the the state Attorney-General, Zaccheus Adangor, to file criminal charges against the Ameachi, as well as Sahara Energy, a firm indicted in the deals.
The firm is co-founded by Cole, the governorship candidate of the APC.
“As we are talking, the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is putting finishing touches to his relentless vicious desperate plot to again stop the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Rivers State, Arc. Tonye Cole, from participating in the 2023 governorship elections in the state,” a top APC official in Rivers told SaharaReporters.
“Like in 2019, Governor Wike’s devious plans is to use the judiciary again, starting from the Rivers State High Court to remove Cole from the ballot in the 2023 governorship elections. This, according to our intel is the main reason Governor Wike directed the Rivers State Attorney-General to file a nine-count charge of stealing, conspiracy and cheating against Amaechi; Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate, Tonye Cole; Dr. Chamberlain Peterside (Amaechi’s Commissioner for Finance); Sir Augustine Wokocha (Amaechi’s Commissioner of Power); Sahara Energy Resources Limited; NG Powers-HPS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited.
“The charges were filed against Cole and the other defendants on June 20, 2022. The matter is before Justice David Gbasam of the Rivers State High Court.
“With the next adjourned court date billed for this Thursday, July 21, Governor Wike has been bragging to people in his close circle that Tonye Cole will be convicted by the Rivers State judiciary sooner than later.
“And that would bar Cole from participating in the governorship elections. According to our sources in the government, Governor Wike is boasting and bragging that he has control of the judiciary and judges in Rivers State and Nigeria and that they will always do his bidding and deliver judgments that he wants them to do.
“Governor Wike’s precise words are that the judiciary and judges in Rivers State and in this country are in his pocket. That he (Wike) can do and undo with the judiciary in Nigeria. He brags that he will use the judiciary to stop Tonye Cole and that Cole won’t even be on the ballot for the elections. Wike says that his influence, reach and hold on the judiciary and judges in Nigeria go far beyond Rivers State.
“And he’s quick to cite as examples how he won the VAT case against the Federal Government in a Federal High Court and his winning of the 17 oil wells case against Imo State in the Supreme Court.”
Another APC member alleged the governor had offered eye-popping state patronage to some appointees during Ameachi’s tenure to testify against Cole.
He said, “Furthermore, to achieve his plot of convicting Tonye Cole in the Rivers State High Court, Governor Wike has, painstakingly, drawn out an extensive and extremely expensive plot to induce former appointees who served in the administration of his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, to come and testify in court against Tonye Cole and the other Defendants.
“Wike wants to use these ex-appointees who served in government during Amaechi’s time as governor, as prosecution witnesses to build a strong case against Tonye Cole and the other defendants, especially to hoodwink members of the public into believing that Rivers State money was stolen by Tonye Cole and the other Defendants.
“For Wike, it is principally about the optics, to build public opinion and perception against Tonye Cole and the other Defendants. So, the trick is when members of the public see past government appointees, who were appointed by one of the Defendants, coming to court to testify against Tonye Cole and the other Defendants that would ostensibly make the story of fraud and corruption somehow credible.
“These former appointees of Amaechi will be acting as prosecution witnesses against the government they served in. But it is all a carefully plotted ruse to deceive the court and members of the public. These former government officials would be lying to the court as they will be told what to say, how to say it and given doctored and made-up documents to present to the court and the public.
“Governor Wike is making promises to these former appointees who he wants to act as prosecution witnesses against Tonye Cole and the other defendants. Former Amaechi Commissioners, Special Advisers and Assistants are being promised mouth-watering homogenous sums of money and enormous government patronage to give false testimony against Tonye Cole and the other defendants.”
Calls put across by SaharaReporters to Special Assistant to Governor Wike on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, were not picked nor returned.
A text message also sent to his line was not reply as at the time of this report.