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Amaechi’s Probe: Former Agric Commissioner shuns first sitting
Amaechi's probe begins

Amaechi’s Probe: Former Agric Commissioner shuns first sitting

Drama took centre stage at the opening session of the Governor Nyesom Wike-ordered probe of the Rotimi Amaechi administration as the former Agric Commissioner, Mr. Chinda who was to appear before the investigative Committee shunned the proceedings.

At the beginning of sitting, the Chairman of the Committee, Justice George Omereji in his address promised that the Committee will perform its duties lawfully and would also give fair hearing to every person.

According to him “I must state here that the Commission is a fact finding body and not a court of Law. It is not on a witch hunting mission and its activities would be strictly based on the memoranda submitted by the parties.

“The Commission shall uphold the principle of fair hearing, give adequate and equal opportunities to all concerned persons to state their cases and tender relevant documents that shall assist the commission.”
As soon as the speeches ended and the real work began, it hit a brick wall as Emma Chinda who was invited to explain a N4billion Agricultural loan was nowhere to be found. However the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,Sotonye Atari-Okoye was present.

The Permanent Secretary revealed that contrary to wide spread speculations, Governor Rotimi Amaechi approved a loan of N3billion for the Agric Credit Scheme and  not four billion. He explained that details are available and the loan was for farmers to access to enhance their yields.

Also, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry of Agric, Chijioke Amadi who appeared before the panel said more than two thousand co-operative and agro-allied societies benefitted from the grant.

Amadi who was also the Chairman of the Agric credit committee told the panel that the selection of the beneficiaries were done at the discretion of the then commissioner.

The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Cordelia Morris-Peterside was also cross examined over issues of the registration of the co-operative societies that benefitted from the said N4 billion agricultural grant.

The commission in its memo had discovered that most of the co-operative societies that benefitted from the grant were linked to former Local government Chairmen of the 23 local government areas of the state.

Before the end of the day’s proceedings, Counsel the Commission, Mr. Zaccheaus Adangor in his submission urged the panel to issue an order that will compel Mr Chinda to appear and clear the issues concerning the Ministry he ran.

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