Immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has dragged before an Abuja High court, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party chairman in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, and two others over false allegations of foreign accounts ownership and funds embezzlement against him.
It would be recalled that in a press statement from the PDP, Rivers State chapter on August 6 and August 21, 2015, the party had alleged that Amaechi stole the sum of $757million or N80 billion of Rivers State public funds and stashed them away in an account in his name in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota, United States of America. The PDP also alleged that Amaechi had embezzled millions of dollars of Rivers State money and stashed the money in other foreign accounts in his name, including in a bank in Switzerland.
The PDP claimed that the various Amaechi foreign accounts were revealed and blown open by Christiane Amanpour of America’s Cable News Network (CNN). The PDP went further to claim that Bancorp Bank, Minnesota had written to President Muhammadu Buhari that part of the funds was to purchase a residence for Amaechi in America and that they (Bancorp Bank) intend to return the stolen funds to Nigeria.
However, in the fresh suit filed before an Abuja High court, FCT, Amaechi stated that each of the said malicious publications by the Defendants (PDP, Felix Obuah and two others) “are untrue, false, motivated by ill-will and without any foundations in truth whatsoever and further avers that the Defendants made the said libelous publications after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed the Presidential election and with a view to rubbishing him in the eyes of right thinking members of the society and the persons to whom the said libelous publications have been made.”
In his statement of claims in the suit, Amaechi averred that he did not steal the sum of $757million or N80 billion of Rivers State public funds and did not stash them away in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in United States of America or stashed any State public funds in Switzerland. And that the Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in United States of America did not at any time reveal that the Plaintiff (Amaechi) embezzled or misappropriated or connived in the embezzlement and misappropriation of monies meant for Rivers State people in the sum of $757million or N80 billion and stashed them away in his name with Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in United States of America.
Amaechi averred that: “the Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, United States did not write and did not communicate President Muhammadu Buhari over any said sum of $757 million dollars allegedly looted by the Plaintiff (Amaechi) that is kept with it and in Switzerland since no such money was ever looted by the Plaintiff (Amaechi).
“There exists no letter which the Defendants (PDP, Felix Obuah and two others) had seen written to President Muhammadu Buhari, by Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, United States confirming the existence, lodgment or transfer with the said Bancorp Bank and in Switzerland of the said sum in the name of the Plaintiff (Amaechi) since no such monies were ever looted by the Plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff (Amaechi) did not steal monies belonging to Rivers State and did not lodge them in any private foreign accounts. The Plaintiff did not admit that he lodged and domiciled in his name in an account in Bancorp Bank, Minnesota, United States any monies as alleged by the Defendants. The Plaintiff did not lodge any sum of $757 million or N80billion in the said bank account belonging to him and none was revealed or blown open by Christiane Amanpour of CNN.”
Amaechi further stated that ever since the said invidious, insidious and vitriolic malicious libelous publications by the PDP and Felix Obuah to the general public, he has been inundated, bombarded and confronted by several persons who expressed lack of respect, loss of faith in him and who no longer regard him as trustworthy and now view him as a common criminal. That he has been confronted by persons who offer him disrespect arising from the false accusations, even though he denied committing the several heinous offences which the PDP and Felix Obuah falsely and maliciously accuse him of committing.
“By the several said publications the Plaintiff (Amaechi) has been seriously injured in his credit, character and reputation and has been brought into public scandal, odium, contempt and his person, character and integrity lowered in the estimation of right thinking members of the society; the said publications are false and most disparaging of the person of the Plaintiff.
“The Defendants (PDP, Felix Obuah and two others) have widely further circulated the said malicious publications to the general public in the internet; these wide and general circulations of the said malicious publications have exposed the person of the Plaintiff (Amaechi) to very heavy and irredeemable ridicule, public odium, contempt and disparagement in the eyes of right thinking and reasonable members of the society including the persons already pleaded and other persons yet unknown and who will also be called upon to testify in this proceedings.
“The Defendants (PDP, Felix Obuah and two others) have continued with the republication, recirculation and widespread republishing and distribution of the said libelous publications to the general public through the internet leading to deluge of inquiries from the general public and well wishers who have severally confronted the Plaintiff (Amaechi) with the very wild allegations of the Defendants and to which Plaintiff denied any looting or ownership of any looted funds or looting of public funds of Rivers State.”
Amaechi stated that he served Rivers State with distinction, initiated and completed numerous public projects and undertook other public infrastructure projects; and has never been convicted by any court with either stealing or embezzlement of public funds anywhere in Rivers State or Nigeria or anywhere in the world.
Against PDP, Felix Obuah and two others, Amaechi is seeking the sum of N300,000,000,000.00 for general damages done to him and defamation of his character, reputation and person.