|Wike moves against Amaechi’s loyalists|
The Rivers State Government and the former state Commissioner for Information, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, traded words, yesterday, over the recovery of what the state government described as government vehicles, from the former commissioner who, however, insisted that the vehicles rightfully belonged to her, but were taken away from her residence in an attempt to rubbish her reputation.
Semenitari said: “Over 10 heavily armed policemen in two trucks, one Ford Transit and a Hilux, on Thursday, invaded my 12 A, Ernest Ikoli Street, Old G.R.A Port Harcourt, Rivers State, residence, without a search warrant, as they forced their way into my premises.”
Reacting to the carting away of her Lexus SUV and other property by suspected agents of the state government, she said: “My security guard on duty requested to know their mission and who sent them. They refused to disclose either, but went round taking photographs and recording my premises on video. The security guard got in touch with my assistant who spoke with the men, explaining to them that I was out of town and again requested to know their mission. Again, they declined, insisting on seeing me first. She then got in touch with me on phone as we were uncertain of the identity of the policemen in question.
“Upon further investigation and after about three hours of them laying siege to my premise, I was told that they were from Rivers State Government House and had been sent to recover vehicles in my possession. They attempted to break into a Range Rover SUV belonging to my Husband which was bought long before I was appointed Commissioner in Rivers State Government, damaging the front door. The vehicle in question, contrary to the lies being paraded is not an armoured vehicle and has never at any point belonged to the Rivers State Government nor its agents including myself as Commissioner of Information.
“By the time I finally made contact with them and expressed my displeasure, they insisted that they would take away a Lexus SUV duly allocated to me as Commissioner for Information and which by law I am entitled to leave with upon leaving office.
“The monetization policy of the government allows public officers to leave government with their official vehicles as this is in lieu of vehicle allowance, transport and other allowances, which they cannot draw because of the monetization policy of 2002. Mr. Nyesom Wike served as Chief of Staff, and upon departure left with all the vehicles he used as Chief of Staff. This has been the practice since this democratic dispensation.
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