Minister of Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has accused Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, of adding “salt to injury” with allegation that he has a hand in mob attack at the home of Supreme Court justice, Mrs. Mary Odili.
In a statement yesterday, in reaction to the allegation by the Rivers State Executive Council that Sylva and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, sponsored the attack on Justice Odili, the minister said such insinuation was wicked.
According to him,”there is no truth in that strange and weighty claim. Governor Wike should know in what high esteem I hold Governor Peter and Justice (Mrs) Odili whom I have known and worked with long before Governor Wike came into the picture.”
Sylva said he would not occur to him, “under any circumstance, to malign the person and image of people I hold up as role models.”
He expressed hope that, “Governor Wike or those working with him have not organised this protest with the intention of hanging it on my person and our party; in an effort manipulate the Supreme Court against our impending appeal for a review at the apex court.”
The minister said what Wike did was “akin to deciding a matter bordering on criminality by way of Originating Summons where the issues have not been investigated and the accused given an opportunity to defend himself, ” wondering why a governor, “who should be the guarantor of justice to all hasten to such weighty conclusions without an iota of evidence. Under the circumstance, Governor Wike’s unverified and wicked allegations can best be described as the proverbial adding salt to injury. A most unkind behaviour from someone who should know better.”
Sylva said the Supreme Court judgment of February 13 had made him speechless, “that I could not even contemplate any other course of action than to approach the Supreme Court again. I am a man of peace and would not support any action that can cause a breach of the peace. My appeal for peace and calm to the people of Bayelsa which was widely circulated last week attests to this.
“I have had several encounters with the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2012. I have never, at any time, attempted to protest its judgment. Why would I do that now?”
Addressing the issue of securing former Governor Peter Odili and Justice Mary Odili, Sylva said: ” Governor Wike as Governor of Rivers State has the duty to protect all Rivers people including the Odilis. I hope he has lived up to this duty creditably. It is for Rivers people to judge. As for the threat to me, ultimately it is God that secures not man or even a Governor.”
He concluded with an advice to Wike , saying: “Those whose palm kernels were cracked for them by benevolent spirits, should not forget to be humble.”