Amaechi Under Pressure To Resign Over Bribery Allegation

By Ikenga Chronicles October 20, 2016

The polity was awash with mixed views, on Wednesday over Justice John Inyang Okoro’s allegation that his travails in the hands of the Department of State Services, DSS, was in connection with the alleged desire of the Presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to win the Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states election appeals with Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi being the errand boy.

According to sources, Amaechi has been facing pressure to resign in order to set a precedence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s zero tolerance for corruption stance.

Justice Okoro is one of the two Supreme Court justices and five High Court judges, whose homes were invaded by operatives of the DSS, penultimate week, over alleged graft.

Justice Okoro had, in a statement dated October 7 but released on Monday to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, Justice Mohammed Mahmoud, alleged, among others, that Rotimi Amaechi, who is now the Transportation Minister, visited him at his residence and pleaded with him to help ensure that the APC won election appeals in the affected states

The reactions ranged from outright dismissal of the bombshell as an afterthought to calls on Amaechi to resign as minister.

This is coming as the Senate on Wednesday October 19, waded into the matter and declared its readiness to summon the affected justices and judges.

The judges, according to the Upper Chamber, will appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on a yet to be fixed date.

In support of Amaechi’s immediate resignation, the National Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-political body, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said it was imperative for the Transportation Minister to step down as minister of Transportation.

“There is need for Amaechi to step aside as a Minister and clear his name of the criminal charges leveled against him. Amaechi should step aside as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.

He added: ‘’There is a criminal allegation [on]Amaechi, which he must explain before he continues as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’

Also Speaking, Lanre Ogunlesi , former Ogun State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said: ‘’ Justice Okoro is a man of integrity. I know him when he was in Court of Appeal, Lagos. He will not tell a lie. In this case, there is no formal allegation against him before the NJC, so it won’t do anything. Just like Justice Ademola too said that it was a revenge action by the Attorney General when there were petitions against him. I know that Justice Okoro will not tell a lie.”

“It appears that it is an attempt to tie the hands of the Judiciary to enable this government have its way in all matters. It is bad for our democracy.’’

Retired Police Commissioner, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said: ‘’Did Okoro report to the judge immediately when it happened? If he did, it would be assumed that he reported the matter. And it would mean that the Chief Justice did not take action.”

“But if he did not, whatever he is saying now will be assumed as an afterthought and may not be taken seriously. Then, if what Okoro said is true, Ameachi has no business remaining in the cabinet.’’

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