Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of embezzling proceeds from the sales of the state aircraft and power stations.
Wike offered to resign from office if Amaechi could mention any federal project that he had attracted to Rivers State since he became a minister in 2015.
He spoke at the defection of two former chairmen of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Dr Davies Ikanya and Igo Aguma, and other chieftains of the opposition party to the Peoples Democratic Party in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
The governor recalled that Amaechi, who is his predecessor, had claimed he sold a Dash 8 aircraft purchased by the administration of former Governor Peter Odili to the Government of Cross River State at the cost of $6m. Wike said Amaechi failed to account for the proceeds of the transaction.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- NIMASA: Winning Icon award is a challenge to work harder, Dr. Jamoh
- APC clears AGF Abubakar Malami for Kebbi governorship election
- BREAKING: One dead as another building collapse in Lagos
The governor also said through intelligence, the state government was able to trace the Dash 8 aircraft to Germany, where Amaechi allegedly diverted it to in 2012.
Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, on Saturday, said Amaechi’s reign in office as governor was characterised by financial malfeasance.
The governor maintained that the $308m paid by Sahara Energy to acquire the State Independent Power Projects was diverted by Amaechi.
In addition, he said Amaechi had spent $39.9m of state funds on a non-existent Justice Karibi Whyte Hospital in Port Harcourt.
The governor challenged Amaechi to emulate him by reviving the moribund Port Harcourt seaports to create employment opportunities for Rivers youths.
In his remarks, the state PDP chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, said Ikanya, Aguma and others’ defection marked the internment of the opposition party in Rivers State.
Narrating his reason for leaving the APC, which he founded in the state, Ikanya said he could no longer remain in a political party built on deception.
Aguma, the immediate past caretaker committee chairman of the APC, accused Amaechi of brainwashing him and others to join the APC.
Meanwhile, reacting to the governor’s allegations, the spokesman for the APC in Rivers State, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, said Wike was only recycling baseless lies.
Nwuke, in a statement to our correspondent on Saturday, wondered why the governor was finding it difficult to prosecute Amaechi without immunity like him.
The statement reads, “Governor Nyesom Wike has continued to recycle these baseless lies, to the extent that the reasonable and rational Rivers people are tired of listening to them.
“The question to ask the governor is, why is he finding it difficult to prosecute a man, who has no immunity presently, for his alleged crimes while in office as governor?
“It does not require rocket science to carry out this task. People who are guilty are not tried in the court of public opinion. They are tried in the open court. Wike should lead the prosecution team to court if he is sure of his facts, or shut up forever.
“This man chose a day that Nigeria was mourning to organise a jamboree.”