- Gives FG 7-day ultimatum to return money allegedly diverted by ex-governor
- Amaechi: Wike is a child, he talks without evidence
By Yemi Adebowale and Ernest Chinwe in Port Harcourt
Governor, Nyesom Wike yesterday said that the $43 million found in a luxury apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos belongs to the Rivers State Government and gave the federal government a 7-day ultimatum to return it, “failing which Rivers State Government will take legal measures to ensure that it gets back her stolen resources.”
Addressing journalists at the Government House, Port Harcourt last night, he said that investigations by his administration revealed that the money was proceed from the sale of gas turbines by the immediate past governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi.
But Amaechi told THISDAY last night that Wike’s allegations were frivolous and lacked any evidence.
Wike said: “The money in question belongs to the former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. We want to confirm that the house in Ikoyi also belongs to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“If you recollect in 2015, we said that gas turbines built by former Governor Peter Odili were sold to Sahara Energy, business partners of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at $319 million.
“That money was used to sponsor the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the 2015 general election. From the date of sale of the gas turbines to May 29, 2015, the money depleted from $319 million to $204,000. What was stashed at the Ikoyi residence was part of that fund.
“We have facts to prove that the said money belongs to the Rivers State Government. The Federal Government must return our money.”
Wike said all the stories be- ing peddled about the money belonging to the National Intel- ligence Agency were false and mere face-saving measures by the embattled APC federal government.
He said: “As I speak to you, the federal government is so embarrassed that this has happened. All the stories that the money belongs to the NIA are fake”.
Wike challenged the federal government to set up a panel of inquiry, which will sit publicly to investigate the money, if it doubted the claim of the Rivers State Government.
He stated that the Rivers State Government needed the money to complete an array of projects, insisting that on no account would this “criminal activity be swept under the carpet.”
The governor said as long as the federal government continued to disturb the progress of Rivers State, “so long will God throw the federal government into confusion.”
“We are giving them seven days to return our money.
Otherwise, we would take legal action to recover our money. $43 million will help us complete several projects,” he said.
But Amaechi scoffed at Wike’s Allegation. He said: “I don’t know who owns the money or the building. This Wike is a child. He just talks without any evidence. All he has been doing in the last two years is repairing roads. He can’t even construct roads. Journalist should try and find out who the owner of the Ikoyi building is from the Lagos State Government, before we start talking about the owner of the money. The building must have been registered. The documents must be in somebody’s name.
“I know Wike very well. He worked with me and stole so much when he was in govern- ment. He also stole when he was working for Jonathan. All his previous attempts to rubbish me failed. He will also fail in this one. At the Appeal Court, he could not provide documents to nail me over his shabby panel of inquiry. He will fail again.”