The Rivers state government says it will prosecute Chinyere Igwe, a federal lawmaker from the state, for alleged involvement in oil bunkering.
Igwe, whose filing station was sealed for involvement in the illegal operations, represents Port Harcourt federal constituency 2.
Speaking at a recent Permanent Voters Card (PVC) sensitisation event in Gokana LGA of Rivers State, Emeka Woke, chief of staff to Governor Nyesom Wike, said no amount of “blackmail” would discourage the state government from prosecuting the lawmaker.
“Anybody who allows his business premises to be used for illegal oil bunkering, that premises will be shut down. Whoever allows his hotel to harbour criminals bent on destabilising the state, we will deal with you according to the law,” he said.
The chief of staff also warned Igwe to desist from “misleading” the public with claims that he was being politically victimised.
“I listen to Chinyere Igwe yesterday talking about ingratitude. A man who had been retired politically. This is the man who spent only one term in the House of Representatives and came back home. The immediate past governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, chased him out of Port Harcourt and he ran to Abuja. He even contested on the platform of ACN then and lost woefully.
“When we had mobilised GDI and had strengthened the party (Peoples Democratic Party), we brought him back and those of them whom he said he is speaking for now. None of them was foundation members of GDI. And His Excellency, the governor gave him a platform, first as a Commissioner and then to the National Assembly, even though he didn’t win the primary. And today, he is talking about ingratitude.”
Last week, Igwe said the government’s action had a political undertone.
“It is political victimisation. He is victimising us because we are aligning with Rt Hon Austin Okpara, a former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, for having a meeting with Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate,” he told Thisday.