The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Monday alleged that evidence of misappropriation of public funds against his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, is so overwhelming that the former governor publicly admitted to them.
He claimed that Amaechi, who is now the Minister of Transportation, admitted paying $39 million for a non-existent Justice Karibi Whyte Mega Specialist Hospital, adding that the ex-governor allegedly confessed publicly to have sold the state’s gas turbines, the proceeds of which was diverted.
Speaking while addressing the 106th quarterly meeting of the Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt on Monday, the governor regretted that Amaechi is working against the interest of the state, and is refusing to use his position as a minister to attract benefits to the people.
His words: “All the documents that proved Amaechi’s acts are authentic. We never forged documents. The former governor himself admitted that he paid out $39 million to Clinotech, without a single block laid anywhere. Is that a document he claims was forged. Where is the hospital ?
“He has agreed in different interviews that he sold the state gas turbines for $309 million. Convert $309 million to naira and you will understand the level of fraud. Amaechi left only $204,000 in the state account.
“The bank statements of the pattern of withdrawals from that account are there for all to see. Can that be forged? The dates and amounts withdrawn are clearly written.”
Wike berated the minister for engaging in the blackmail of the Supreme Court because his appeal was pending before the apex court over the establishment of the state judicial commission of inquiry.
“There is no time that he loses a case without blackmailing the judiciary. He feels the only way he can do it is to blackmail the Supreme Court. You cannot play politics with everything,” he said.
Wike went on to warn traditional rulers in the state against working with armed gangs to cause insecurity in their communities.
On the use of hotels for electoral fraud, he warned that any hotel that opens its facility for electoral fraud and malpractice would lose its operational certificate of occupancy.
He said: “Any hotel that is used to rig elections, that hotel’s certificate of occupancy will be withdrawn. I will not take that anymore.”
In an earlier remark, Chairman of the traditional rulers and Amayanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Jaja, lauded Wike for the commencement of the reconstruction of 175 public schools across the state.
He appealed to the governor to set up a process to check sale of illicit drugs in the state.