Former State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Emma Chinda, who alongside former Governor Rotimi Amaechi allegedly diverted N4billion CBN agriculture loan for political purposes, will be arrested if he fails to appear before the Justice George Omereji Judicial Commission of Inquiry. Justice George Omereji gave the ruling on Tuesday after the counsel to the Commission; Dr Zacheus Adangor moved a motion for their arrest following their failure to appear.
The Commission further directed that all the former council chairmen and commissioners used by the former administration to divert the loan which was converted to non repayable grant also appear to state their own side of the story. Summons were duly served on all the affected parties to participate in the public hearing of the Commission, where they are expected to defend themselves against grave allegations of wilful diversion of state development funds for political purposes.
The commission directed that the summons to the former officials be published in the state owned, Tide newspaper. The commission said after the publication and they still refused to appear, they will order for their arrest. They adjourned till August 26.
Chairman of the Agriculture Credit Scheme and a director of planning at the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Chijioke Grant Amadi on Monday in his testimony blamed the former Agriculture Commissioner for the illegalities that characterised the management of the N4billion agriculture fund.
Also, Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs I. O. Okoye said she was excluded from the management of the fund, even though she is the Chief Accounting Officer of the Ministry.
Former Governor Amaechi, who converted the fund approved by the immediate past Jonathan administration for the development of food production in Rivers State, diverted same for electioneering campaign, which he shared to different local government chairmen under the guise of phantom cooperative societies.
It is unlikely that Mr Chinda, the former Commissioner of Agriculture used by Rotimi Amaechi and the other former council chairmen will appear before the commission as they are said to be shopping for injunctions in courts situated in some states favourable to their political affiliation to stop their arrest.