The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has no power to probe the state government.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the governor said that the EFCC should approach the Court of Appeal to set aside the 2007 judgment barring the commission from investigating the state.
“We are not afraid of their probe and they have no power to probe us.
“No government official will appear before the EFCC until they set aside the court judgment of Rivers State Government against them in 2007. We cannot be intimidated,” he said on Sunday.
Wike also alleged that the anti-graft agency was embarking on a political witch-hunt using the media.
“We are aware of their tricks. They should not bother engaging in media trial because it will not work. This is a mere political witch-hunt,” he said.
The governor explained that the state had obtained a court judgment in 2007 preventing the anti-graft agency from probing it.
He, however, wants the commission to vacate the order in a superior court before probing the activities of the state.
The governor also decried the freezing of accounts of the Benue and Akwa-Ibom state governments earlier by the EFCC.
On August 8, the anti-graft agency froze the accounts of the two states, a development that sparked criticisms especially by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
Wike, however, stated that Rivers State was the real target of the EFCC.
Furthermore, he accused the Federal Government of using the agency for illegal actions in the state, despite the Attorney General writing to the EFCC and attaching the 2007 judgment against the federal agency.
He said, “An agency of federal government has frozen the accounts of Akwa Ibom and Benue State Governments. This is the worst coup against the constitution and the law-abiding people of those states.
“But the target is not Benue or the Akwa Ibom States. The real target is Rivers State. The EFCC as a federal agency has no business with State Funds. That is the responsibility of the State House of Assembly.”