Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has described the closure of courts in the State for nearly two years by the immediate past administration of Chibuike Amaechi as a coup against the judiciary.
He regretted that Nigeria happens to be the only country where those who violate the sanctity of the third arm of government go unpunished.
The governor made these assertion at the New Year State banquet held in Government House, Port Harcourt on Sunday night.
Governor Wike said it was preposterous for his predecessor who closed courts for almost two years and denied people access to justice, to claim that Rivers State has been badly governed since 2015.
“There will be bad administration if there is no good governance. What is good governance? There cannot be good governance if it is not predicated on the rule of law and due process. Who can you actually accuse of bad administration? We came to this State in 2015. There was no court.
“There was a coup against the third arm of government. It is only in Nigeria where you can stage a coup against the judiciary and you will go free. Nobody can stage coup against the judiciary in any developed society and you go free. You can never. You deny people liberty, you deny them access to justice.”
Governor Wike said it was ludicrous for Amaechi, whose eight years reign in office epitomised maladministration, to accuse his government that is hinged on rule of law of bad governance.
“I am happy that even if we did not achieve anything, we did not shut down the courts. I did not drag the legislature to Government House to pass budgets.”
He took a swipe at the National Assembly for confirmation of Amaechi as a minister, despite his atrocious attack against the judiciary while as governor of Rivers State.
“You suffered a whole State not to have access to justice and nobody is saying anything. It is only in this country where I see parliament can even screen somebody to be a minister that had shut the gate of justice.”
According to the governor, “We came, opened the court. Who was the first person that rushed to court when the court was opened? The same man who closed the court, the man who denied other people liberty.”
He observed that Amaechi often brag about building modern secondary schools while in office. According to him, a report of the Rivers State economic advisory council set up by Amaechi had denounced siting of these schools in locations far from the communities.
The governor noted that any government that provides the people infrastructure, but deny them liberty and access to justice could best be described as a failed government.
Governor Wike reiterated that Amaechi is yet to account for the $308M proceeds from the sales of the State gas turbine power stations to Sahara Energy, which is co-founded by Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Mr. Tonye Cole.
“Who’s behind Sahara? The one he is presenting to be governorship candidate.”
The Rivers State governor said if Amaechi had scruples he would not meddle in the affairs of a State that he wasted N54 billion of her resources on the now abandoned 1.1 kilometres monorail project.
Governor Wike listed the dualised Saakpenwa-Bori Kono road, Ahoada-Omoku roads, Egbema-Omoku road, Nigerian Law School, Port Harcourt campus, Trans-Kalabari road and several other projects as some of his landmark achievements.
Wike said, “To the glory of God, we have done very well.”
The governor also commended the legislative and judicial arms of government for working in synergy with the executive for the collective good of Rivers people.