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Fubara to probe Wike’s administration

Siminalayi Fubara, the governor of Rivers state Siminalayi Fubara, the governor of Rivers state

Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, says a judicial panel of inquiry will be set up to investigate the management of the state’s resources and affairs under past administrations. 

Fubara spoke on Monday while swearing in Dagogo Iboroma, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), as the Rivers‘ attorney-general and commissioner for justice, at the government house in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

“Let me also say this: you have a big task. We will be setting up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the affairs of governance. So, brace up; I am not going back on it,” the governor said.

Earlier on Monday, the Rivers house of assembly led by Victor Jumbo, the factional speaker, screened and cleared Iboroma as a commissioner nominee.

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Iboroma’s appointment follows the resignation of Zacchaeus Adangor in April.

“Please defend us. We know that you are going to defend us because your record is clean. You are a gentleman who is peaceful. You are not a noise-maker. People like you are endowed, and they have the fear of God,” Fubara told Iboroma.

Fubara succeeded Nyesom Wike, who is the current minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), as governor in May 2023.

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He was the accountant-general under Wike.

In May 2022, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declared Fubara and 58 others wanted over an alleged N435 billion fraud.

‘THIS IS A NEW ERA’

Fubara said the swearing-in of Iboroma marked the beginning of a new era for his government, which he noted has moved on from the political crisis in the state.

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“I am happy that this is happening today to mark the beginning of a new era in our administration. When I said that I had a reason for being patient, it is because I know that we are all from one family and if we have a disagreement, no matter how bad it is, it should be resolved amicably,” Fubara said.

“But it has become very clear that this disagreement, there is no way to resolve it amicably. And for a lot of reasons, there is visible evidence that there is sabotage and deliberate attempt to sabotage this administration.

“For that reason, we have to move forward. And moving forward, if it means taking decisions that are going to hurt anybody. We are not going back on the protection of the interest of Rivers people.”

THE CRISIS

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The Rivers house of assembly has been polarised since 2023 following the rift between Fubara and Wike.

In December, 27 members of the assembly defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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The Rivers assembly has 32 seats. One lawmaker, Dinebari Loolo, died in September 2023.

In October 2023, Ehie Edison was elected speaker of the factional assembly, after his removal as house leader by members led by Martin Amaewhule — amid the plot to impeach Fubara.

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Edison later resigned as a lawmaker to become chief of staff to Fubara.

The lawmakers in the Amaewhule-led faction are loyal to Wike.

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The political crisis took a fresh twist last Wednesday after Jumbo, a lawmaker representing the Bonny state constituency, was elected factional speaker.

Last Friday, a state high court in Port Harcourt granted an interim injunction restraining Amaewhule from acting as a speaker of the Rivers assembly.

Charles Wali, the presiding judge, also restrained 25 other assembly members from parading themselves as legislators.

The motion ex parte was filed by Jumbo and two assembly members — Sokari Goodboy and Orubienimigha Timothy — loyal to Fubara.

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