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Amaechi Must Give Account Of The N112 Billion State Asset He Sold Off – Rivers Government



'I Never Said Stealing Public Funds Happens Under Buhari Govt' - Amaechi

The Rivers state government has said the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has a case to answer over the alleged sales of gas turbine power stations belonging to the state government.

Naija News learnt that the commissioner for information in the state, Emma Okah, in a statement  accused Mr Amaechi, who was the former  governor of the state of allegedly selling off the power stations to Sahara Energy, owned by a billionaire businessman from the state, Tonye Cole, towards the end of his administration.

Mr Okah said the then administration allegedly used the proceeds – N112 billion – to fund the political activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which Mr Amaechi is its leader in the state.

Mr Cole recently resigned from the board of Sahara Energy to “join active politics”.

He is said to be Mr Amaechi’s favourite for the APC ticket for the 2019 governorship election in the state.

The reason for Tonye Dele Cole is now better explained. There is need to cover the skeletons in the cupboard,” Mr Okah said in the statement.

Mr Okah said the alleged diversion of the funds was the reason the Amaechi administration “left many projects uncompleted and owed salaries and pensions to workers before he left office in 2015″.  

Apart from the power assets, the commissioner said Sahara Energy also bought the Olympia Hotel and other high-value state assets under suspicious circumstances from the administration.

Mr Amaechi’s successor, governor Nyesom Wike, had set up a judicial commission of inquiry which indicted Mr Amaechi on the sales of the assets.

The Justice Omereji Commission of Inquiry investigated the spurious sales and indicted the Minister of Transport and instead of refunding the money, the Minister rushed to court to set aside the findings of the Commission. He lost at the high court and at the Court of Appeal. His appeal to the Supreme Court been abandoned because, for over a year, he has failed to file a brief of argument,” Mr Okah said.

The commissioner also commented on the running battle between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Rivers State government.

He said it was “very funny” that Mr Amaechi who is “backing” the EFCC against the state government today was the same person who fought against “interference” by the commission in the affairs of the state when he (Amaechi) was the governor.

Mr Okah said, “For the avoidance of doubts, Rivers State Government is not against the fight against corruption. Our case is that there are two perpetual court injunctions restraining the Commission from investigating the finances of Rivers State Government and until those injunctions are vacated by a superior court, the Commission is duty bound in law to respect it irrespective of how worried the former governor may feel today.

“The Rivers State Government assures the Transport Minister that the law has not changed and the facts remain the same and so his collusion with the Commission to harass Rivers State Government and her officials will not work.”

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