The matter between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Rivers State government may go beyond the order restraining the Commission from probing the finances of the Rivers State government.
Gov Nyesom Wike is expanding the judgment to mean that the Commission has no right to even probe states and other tiers of government. He spoke in Port Harcourt again.
Reacting to what he called media propaganda by EFCC on the management of Rivers State finances under his leadership, Governor Wike stated that the law is settled that the EFCC has no powers to investigate the state government.
He said: “I am not interested whether EFCC backs off or not. Anybody that does not respect the rule of law; anybody that is full of impunity; which is what the Federal Government is all about, that person does not mean well for democracy. You heard the President say national interest supercedes rule of law. I am not against the EFCC fighting corruption, if at all they are fighting corruption.
“My concern is we must do it according to the law. The law says that we have a federation comprising the Federal Government, the states and the LGAs. We go to the monthly Federal Allocation when money comes to the Federation and all tiers take their share. The Federal Government is now saying that the money that comes to states will be monitored.”
He noted that the EFCC can only be taken seriously if it operates within the rule of law by successfully appealing the 2007 judgment between the commission and the State Government.
“I was not here in 2007. Rivers State Government went to court against the EFCC to say the commission has no constitutional power to interrogate the finances, the expenses of the State Government. And the matter was adequately addressed and judgment was given against EFCC. Since 2007, EFCC has been struggling to appeal the judgment. EFCC has not succeeded up till now. What they are doing now is when they feel a government is not pro-Buhari, let’s do this.
“Nobody will appear before the EFCC until they follow the rule of law. This country must not allow personal interest of individuals. That is a coup against the interest of Nigeria. No wonder the EFCC will go to Benue State and seal the account of the State Government. No wonder EFCC will go to Akwa Ibom State to seal the account of the State Government”, he said.
Commenting on the 2015 General election, Governor Wike said that he never used the Police or any security agency to his advantage. He noted that Former Police Commissioner Mbu was not in Rivers State when the 2015 General election was conducted. He noted that the APC was not on ground, hence it could not have won any elections in the state.
“It is unfortunate for people who don’t have a sense of history. Mr Mbu was not here when I was elected governor”, he said.
He said that the current peace and serenity being enjoyed in the state was the handiwork of God, as the APC-led Federal Government has been plotting insecurity to no avail. He said even though his administration has invested heavily in logistical and financial support to security agencies, God has stopped all evil plots of the APC from manifesting.