The Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike, huge sums of money, uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in an apartment in the Ikoyi area of Lagos on Wednesday, belong to Rivers state.
A court in Lagos has ordered forfeiture of the money. The fund which has generated a lot of controversies and accusations, is said to be 43 million Dollars, 23 million Naira and 27,000 Pounds.
Speaking at a press conference held Friday in Port Harcourt, Wike alleged that the FG was embarrassed and unable to admit the money was dumped in the empty flat by Rotimi Amaechi, current minister of transportation in the federal cabinet.
“All these things they are saying that the $43m belong to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency is balderdash. When did the NIA begin to keep money in houses? As I speak to you now, the Federal Government is so embarrassed”, Wike stated.
“I want the President to set up a commission of inquiry. We don’t want to fight anybody; they should set up a commission of inquiry or return our money within seven days. If they don’t, we will take all necessary legal actions and NIA will come and prove where they got the money from.
“The $43m is the proceeds of the sale of the gas turbine sold by the immediate past administration. The gas turbine was built by the (Peter) Odili administration. It (gas turbine) was sold to Sahara Energy.
“The turbine was sold for $319m. But as of May 2015, what was in the account was $204,000. We will avail ourselves and we will be present at the commission of inquiry expected to be set up by the Federal Government. If we are invited, we will come. There is no contradiction in this at all, but I know they (FG) will not agree.”
Wike maintained that he would complete the monorail project if the Federal Government returned the $43m to Rivers State, adding that it would be “projects galore” in the state should the money be returned back to its original owner.
“Part of the money from the sale of the gas turbine was used to fund the All Progressives Congress campaign. We are telling the world that the money belongs to us. If they (FG) give us the money, I will complete the monorail project,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Intelligence Agency, NIA, is also laying claim to the money. The NIA claimed the money was for its covert operations and appropriated for its spending by the immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan.