Government has claimed ownership of the N13 billion found by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a luxury apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos
The Governor, Nyesom Wike, who made this known on Friday, however, gave the Federal Government seven days to return the money to the state or face legal action.
Mr. Wike said investigations showed the money was the proceed of the sale of gas turbines by the immediate past Governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi.
“The money in question belongs to the former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. We want to confirm that the houses in Ikoyi also belong to Rotimi Amaechi,” Mr. Wike told journalistsin Port Harcourt.
“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 for the 2015 general elections. 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.”
The governor argued the stories being peddled about the money belonging to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) were mere face-saving measures by the embattled APC Federal Government.
“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”.
He, therefore, challenged the Federal Government to set up a panel of Inquiry, which will sit publicly to investigate the money if it doubted his claim.
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, God will continue to 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. $43million will help us complete several projects. We need that money for projects,” he said.
Controversy has trailed the recovery by EFCC of foreign currencies and naira notes to the tune of $43.4 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million at a four-bedroom apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The total amount of money recovered at the current Central Bank exchange rate is over N13 billion.
The operation followed a confidential information received by the Commission’s Lagos office regarding some suspicious movement of bags in and out of a particular apartment in the building.
Another source who is conversant with the apartment indicated that a woman usually appeared on different occasions with ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags, the EFCC said.