By Our Correspondent
Cross Riverians say the immediate past governor of the State, Senator Liyel Imoke who is reported to be among five other former governors to be tried by the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false asset declaration, should go and clear his name.
A section of Cross Riverians who spoke with CrossRiverWatch say the warrant issued by the CCT is just a call to clarify certain issues.
A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party in the state and a former Chairman of Obudu LGA, Chief Tony Undiandeye in a telephone interview with CrossRiverWatch described Imoke as “a very careful man” and one who is not carried away by materialism and urged him to go and clear his name and advised people to stop politicizing the issue and arguing it along party lines.
“The institutions must be allowed to carry out their functions as required by law and I believe that if Senator Imoke has a petition against him in the Code of Conduct, he is a disciplined man and a national figure, he should go and clear his name.
“I don’t understand why some people say it is a witch hunt, why say that? You want to prejudice the people who invited him? I don’t like to be so condescending in approaching such issues.
“when someone assumes and leaves office, you have so much enemies who may go and lay frivolous allegations, it is for the general good of your name, and your children and generation who will bear that name to go and clear yourself” he said.
For Boniface Ogar, a student, it is “just a matter for him to go and clear his name. I heard there are several other governors involved also, not just him, so it will be safe to say it is just an issue of questioning. I know people speak ill of him but he did give our rural areas upliftment”.
Meanwhile, a staff of the state owned Cross River Broadcasting Corporation who did not want to be named simply said “That man? He will go to jail; the sleaze under him was just too much. Let him go face the music” with the person’s colleague replying thus “Imoke is a nice man. I understand the general perception is that he stole and all that but this Code of Conduct thing is just for him to go and clear his name. I think he will be vindicated at the end”.
Andrew Omini, a legal practitioner, also told CrossRiverWatch that: “The fact is that Imoke is a lawyer and he knows that the court is the best place to defend yourself against any allegations. Whether, it is political or not, this matter presents an opportunity for him to tell the world that he is not a thief and if I were him, I will seize it with both hands.”
Agnes Atem, a teacher in a secondary school in Calabar told our reporter that: “That man does not look like a thief. He is a nice gentleman, it is only towards the end of his tenure that things became bad if not, since he was governor, he treated us very well. If people are now accusing him of stealing, he should also go there and tell them that he did not steal any money and clear his name.”
Several others who spoke either claimed they were unaware of the case and petitions levelled against the Abi born politician or simply said they did not want to comment on the matter.
The case before the CCT is not the only one Imoke’s legal team may be battling as it will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch exclusively reported that, a lawyer and activist Okoi Obono-Obla had in a fifteen point petition filed before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged cases of corruption, embezzlement and fraud under the administration of Liyel Imoke between 2007 and 2015, with several top administrators under him questioned for their roles in the alleged crimes.