Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has described as unfortunate the desperation of the Federal Government to cover corruption simply because her principal financial sponsor is involved.
Briefing Rivers Christian leaders on the development at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Saturday, Wike stated that the Rivers State Government is not interested in the prosecution of the immediate past Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, but simply seeking the return of funds belonging to the state.
He said that the should the Federal Government return the stolen resources domiciled by the Former Governor at his Ikoyi residence, the said funds would be deployed for the completion of Amaechi’s abandoned pet project, the monorail.
Governor Wike said that the promotion of insults and needless propaganda will not detract the Rivers State Government from recovering her stolen resources, declaring that the state is ready for a lengthy battle with the Federal Government over the ‘Ikoyi billions’.
“The Federal Government wants us to believe that a security agency will keep a whopping N16 billion in a private residence in cash.
They think that Nigerians don’t have brains. “When millions of dollars were found in Kaduna, the EFCC was quick to announce the owner of that money. Now they don’t know the whistle blower in the case of the ‘Ikoyi billions’ and they are afraid to disclose the owner of the money.
“I am not interested in the prosecution of our son, the former governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
We are just interested in the return of Rivers money. God has caught them”. He warned: “If the Federal Government does not leave Rivers State alone, it will never be well with them!”
The governor said that unless the Federal Government returns this illicit fund stolen from Rivers State, the APC administration will not know peace. He urged Christian clerics in Rivers State to continue to pray for the administration to have sleepless nights until they effect the refund.
Wike informed that the legal team of the state has been briefed and they are ready to commence action.
“They are covering corruption because a key player of the administration is involved. This is not a rumour. They know that the money belongs to Amaechi,” he said.
The governor took out time to explain to the Rivers Christian leaders on how the former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi diverted proceeds from the sale of gas turbines valued at $309million.
He informed the clerics that investigations by the Rivers State Government revealed that the $43million found in a luxury apartment in Ikoyi was part of the fund. Responding, Monsignor Pius Kii of the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt commended the governor for always showing respect to clerics by explaining position of things to them.
The meeting was attended by Leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria, Rivers State, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey of the Anglican Province of Niger Delta, Methodist Archbishop of Port Harcourt, Rt Reverend Sunday Agwu and the leaders of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has also accused the Federal Government of plotting to shield the real owner of the money and called on the EFCC to prove to Nigerians that its activity was not lopsided by naming and prosecuting its true owner.
The umbrella organisation of all political parties and association in the country warned that it will mobilise its members, well-meaning Nigerians, and civil society groups to resist any cover up of the real owner of the stashed cash, dismissing the claims that the money belongs to National Intelligence Agency (NIA). CNPP in a statement by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, maintained that if it was found that the money and the apartment truly belonged to Amaechi, the cash should be returned to the River State’s treasury.
“We’re worried that the current anti-graft war is becoming a show as each day passes. It is more worrisome when you begin to hear that a government security agency, the NIA, which is not a revenue generating organ of the Federal Government, is laying claim to the recovered money.
“The NIA’s angle to the controversy is nothing but a deliberate plot by the Federal Government to cover up the true identity of the looter.
“How can the NIA claim to own N13 billion cash stashed in a private residential apartment; NIA has no office in Lagos? “The war against corruption is now being exposed for what it truly is on daily basis, a lopsided fight against perceived enemies of the present administration, while all members of the ruling party are shielded from prosecution.
The case of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) is still fresh in our minds, how President Muhammadu Buhari quickly absorbed him of any wrong doing even before any investigation was carried out.
“The Minister of Transport has been at the centre of several financial scandals which were never investigated. But any plot to cover up the owner of the Ikoyi apartment loot will be strongly resisted, with the CNPP leading the struggle. Enough is enough,” the CNPP stated.