Graft allegations: Rivers PDP, APC differ over calls for Amaechi’s resignation

Rivers State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are, once again, at each other’s throat over allegation about the involvement of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, in the attempts to pervert justice in the disputed 2015 governorship election.

Two Justices of the Supreme Court had, last week, separately accused the former governor of Rivers State of an attempt to bribe them in order to alter the course of justice in the elections in Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ebonyi, Abia and Ekiti states.

Reacting to the allegations, Rivers PDP chairman, Mr Felix Obuah, claimed that the minister had no moral justification to remain in office.

His APC counterpart, Dr Davies Ikanya, on Monday, however dismissed the call for Amaechi’s resignation, describing it as vindictive, laughable, mischievous and shameless, adding that the former governor would be vindicated.

Obuah insisted that the allegations were shocking, adding that Amaechi should first step aside from carrying out national assignments in the capacity as a member of the Federal Executive Council (PEC) to allow for an uninterrupted and objective investigation by the relevant government agencies.

The Rivers PDP chairman called on President Muhammadu Buhari to also relieve the former governor of his position, pending the determination of the matter by the law enforcement and anti-graft agencies.

“To further prove his innocence of the various allegations, Mr Amaechi should resign, cooperate and allow the process of his investigation by not sabotaging any of such efforts in getting to the truth,” he said.

Defending the former governor, however, Rivers APC chairman insisted that Amaechi was not guilty as charged, adding, “We are convinced that God, who has always fought for Amaechi, will continue to save and strengthen him and will once again vindicate him”.

He lambasted PDP, both at the state and the national levels, as well as individuals, who joined in calling for the resignation of Amaechi and his probe over the allegations by the judges.

He said the allegations were made by “sponsored and drowning judges who were looking for a tool to stay afloat…”, he said.

“These calls, being championed by PDP are just the latest manifestation of the party’s frustration and fight against Amaechi in retaliation for his role in dislodging the PDP government at the centre during the 2015 presidential elections.

“These useless calls, based on the unfounded and baseless attempted bribery allegations against the former Rivers State governor and the Minister of Transportation, confirms our fears and stand that the two discredited justices made these allegations as part of a political strategy to destroy APC and run down the political fortunes of this rising star.

“PDP is only acting out its frustration over the key role that Amaechi played to end the corruption system engineered by the past PDP administration at the centre but let us assure the public that this plot has already failed before it was hatched because no sound Nigerian will buy this lame allegation that have no logical stand.”