MUST READ! See Top 10 UNFORGETTABLE Political Battles of Buhari's Minister, Rotimi Amaechi
Read it below as compiled by NB;
When you talk of a Nigerian politician who has been entangled in so many controversies, then Rotimi Amaechi will be among those that will come to mind. A former governor of Rivers state for two-terms, and ex-speaker of Rivers state house of Assembly, Amaechi could be said to be lone fighter that won nearly all battles in his political career. Here is a look at some of Ameachi's political battles and struggles.
1. Governorship battle
The 2007 Rivers state governorship contest remains the toughest battle fought so far by Transport Minister Amaechi. After winning the governorship primaries under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, his name was substituted by the party. Amaechi challenged this in court, and had the Supreme court declare him the true candidate and winner of the election on October 25, 2007.
The court annulled Celestine Omehia’s election, ruling that Amaechi, not the former, was the PDP’s legitimate candidate. Omehia was barely five months in office before he was sacked. Amaechi was re-elected for a second term of four years in April 2011 and left office in May last year.
2. Amaechi slugged it out with Police Chief Mbu
Rivers state was not peaceful with Mbu as the Commissioner of Police. He was always at logger heads with Amacehi over his partisanship in handling political issues in the state. It was a fierce battle between the duo that it attracted National attention until he was redeployed out of the state.
3. Amaechi vs Former President Goodluck Jonathan and NGF
The 'mighty' Amaechi also had a power tussle with the Presidency under Goodluck Jonathan. It was over the soul of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). Ameachi was the chairman of the NGF which pitched him against some powers that be in the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Amaechi as the NGF Chairman was seen as a threat to Goodluck Jonathan's second term in office. They did everything possible to stop his re-emergence as NGF Chairman. He survived the odds, and later dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress.
4. The battle with 'First Lady' Patience Faka Jonathan
While Amaechi had a hard time with former President Jonathan and his subjects, he also had his wife (Patience) to deal with. The battle with the former First Lady was described by many as the real cause of the quarrel between Jonathan and Amaechi. It began when Dame Jonathan blasted Amaechi for conceiving the demolition of houses in her native Okrika to make way for educational structures.
Her grouse was that Amaechi looked certain to demolish and compensate the people without first seeking their consent, while Amaechi decried the manner in which the then first lady addressed the matter in public without according him due respect as a governor.
5. Ministerial screening
It was drama at the Red Chambers when President Mohammadu Buhari submitted Amaechi's name among other Ministerial nominees. It was a Herculean task to get Amaechi screened by the Senate especially after the Senate received the report of the Senator Samuel Anyanwu-led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, over a petition bordering on allegations of fraudulent practices during his tenure as the governor of Rivers State.
Senators of the PDP led by the Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, had raised a point of order, stating that content of the report of the committee should have been made known to the Senate, before Amaechi’s screening. He also added that the PDP-caucus reached a resolution not to ask Amaechi questions.
This threw the Senate into frenzy but Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, rose to the defence of his party man, saying that that the report had already been laid before the Senate and that Amaechi being a former lawmaker, he should be allowed to take bow.
No doubt, it would have been a mess for Amaechi's political career if the former Rivers State governor had not scaled the ministerial screening given the fact that he practically staked his life for the Buhari presidential project.
6. 2015 Rivers Governorship Elections
Nyesome Wike, equally powerful, disgraced Rotimi Amaechi at the last gubernatorial elections in rivers state. Amaechi's candidate, Dakuku Peterside (APC) lost the governorship seat to Barrister Wike (PDP) with a wide margin. Notwithstanding, with the wide margin, Amaechi’s camp never gave up until the Supreme Court declared Wike winner of the poll.
The former governor’s consolation was pockets of legislative seats won by his party. But it was not all loss for Amaechi as he had Peterside appointed as Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
7. Lion of Ubima & Allegations to Pervert Justice:
The Lion of Ubima is currently faced with allegations of attempt to induce some members of the judiciary to pervert justice.
The allegation was made by Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, who are among judges recently arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) over allegations of corruption. Justice Okoro, whose home in Abuja was among those raided by DSS operatives on October 7 and 8, said he is being persecuted because he turned down pressure to help influence the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling on Akwa Ibom gubernatorial election.
In a letter dated October 17, and addressed to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Okoro specifically accused Amaechi of being behind his ordeal. He recounted how the former Rivers State governor visited him in the run-up to the Supreme Court decision on the appeal about the outcome of the Akwa Ibom State governorship poll in 2015, saying the outcome would have been different if Amaechi had had his way.
8. Amaechi denies allegations
Amaechi has denied the allegation against him, saying he never made any attempt to influence judgement of the court, insisting that it was fuelled by politics. In his statement, he said: “My attention has been drawn to a letter purportedly written by Hon. Justice Inyang Okoro, Justice of the Supreme Court, one of the judges recently arrested by the DSS as part of its investigation into the allegations of massive corruption involving some officers of the judiciary.
“Given the level of mischief in the social media, I would ordinarily have ignored the letter because the allegations contained in the said letter are wild, baseless and unrelated to the issues in contention between the Justice of the Supreme Court and the Department of State Services. To that extent, I had grave reservation that this letter emanated from his lordship.
“However, for the avoidance of doubt, let me say clearly that I have never discussed any matter pending before the Supreme Court of Nigeria with my lord, Hon. Justice Inyang Okoro, in his house or anywhere else.
“I make bold to also state that the only time I have ever spoken with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, was at the inauguration of the Abuja- Kaduna Railway project on July 226 at Idu in Abuja.” He further said that the letter by Justice Okoro was a poor attempt to politicise what he described as a serious national tragedy and shame.
9. Rivers APC rises in defence
As expected, the Rivers State chapter of the APC quickly rose in defence of its leader, warning Justice Okoro to withdraw the allegations within one week or be prepared to face the consequences. The party, in a statement by the state chairman, Dr Davies Ikanya, said: “One does not need a soothsayer to see that Justice Okoro is very confused and thinks that by mentioning the name of Amaechi in his letter, he would deceive Nigerians and play down the gravity of his sins and crimes against Rivers State people and Nigeria as a whole.
“If we may ask Justice Okoro, why should Amaechi or anybody attempt to bribe him for an election upturned by both the Tribunal and the Appeal Court? An election widely condemned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the international community and both local and foreign observers who monitored the shambolic exercise in the course of which over 200 of our members were slaughtered like chicken just to install Chief Nyesom Wike of the PDP in power at all cost? “For failing to report the fictional bribery attempt by Amaechi, Justice Okoro has committed an offence that attracts up to two years imprisonment.
We are hereby giving him one week to retract his worthless and satanic letter and apologize to Amaechi or we may be forced to set in motion a machinery to invoke the Corrupt Practices and other related offence Act 2000.”
10. PDP calls for Amaechi's Probe
The National leadership of the opposition party, PDP, has called for the probe of Rotimi Amaechi, insisting that his case should not be swept under the carpet. The party, through its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said Justice Okoro’s allegation has vindicated it that there are many corrupt leaders and members in APC, but have been shielded from prosecution because of their affiliation and contributions they made to APC presidential campaign.
“The PDP view this allegation as grievous, dangerous, criminal and unhealthy for our democracy and the rule of law. This information by a high ranking judge must not be swept under the carpet like previous petitions and the report of the Rivers State Judiciary Commission of Inquiry that revealed so many misappropriations of funds by the former governor when he held sway from 2007 to 2015,” Adeyeye said.