By Ashimole Felix.
June 23rd, 2008,
Sir Peter Odili, one time governor of Rivers State
1999-2007, made himself available to adopt the written
submission by his Counsel Ifedayo Adedipe SAN to the Justice
Eso led Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The RTC had to relocate to Abuja, to enable Sir Odili and
Sekibo to testify. The duo had cited security reasons for
their inability to attend the sitting of the TRC in Port
Earlier testifiers, had insinuated that Sir Peter Odili was
responsible for the death of Harry Marshal and Chief A.K.
Dikibo. The weightiest of these testifiers, is Asari Dokubo.
Asari Dokubo was the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer
Front, the forerunner of Movement for the Emancipation of
Niger Delta (MEND). Asari after a long sojourn awaiting
trial, claims he is born again and has shunned violence.
While he reigned, he was a terror and the twin names of
Asari and Ateke Tom is synonymous to evil in the creeks of
the Niger Delta.
According to Sir Peter Odili, he first met the duo of Asari
and Ateke on October 1st 2004 at the Presidential Villa,
after he was summoned by the then president. Odili denied
belonging and sponsoring any cult group and challenged
anybody with contrary evidence to step forward.
According to Odili, there was an apex group made up of 16
members, which included Rotimi Ameachi the present governor;
Celestine Omehia; the two past PDP chairmen of the state.
Each had a free hand to control any organization that was
used in his area to mobilize for PDP.
Sir Peter Odili, swearing in the name of God, denied any
knowledge of the death of both Harry Marshal and Dikibo. In
AsariĘs testimony reported in National dailies, Asari said
he was told that Odili was responsible for the death. Asari's
testimony was based on hear say and Asari's belief. Asari
never made known the names of those from whom he heard that
Odili was responsible for the death.
Odili, also threw an open challenge to the whole world to
come up with evidence of embezzlement by him or his
In a rapid departure from the testimony, Sir Odili indicted
the Chairman of the commission of bias, rhetorically asking
if he can get justice from a panel headed by Justice Eso.
This indictment was a reference to the opening speech of
Justice Eso to the effect that he used the instrumentalities
of the law to frustrate prosecution.
In response to questions from the counsel to the TRC Chima
Bovis, Odili reasserted that there was no need to use
cultists in the 2003 election as there was no credible
opposition in Rivers State.
Throughout the lengthy denial, Odili appeared well schooled
in the act of cross examination and made a mice meat of the
accusations. Sir Peter Odili's wife, Mary Odili, is a
Justice of the Court of Appeal Abuja division.