The two-time Commissioner for Transportation in Rivers State, George Tolofari, has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of lying against Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over a missing aircraft found in Germany.
Tolofari, an ally of Amaechi in a statement, claimed that Wike deliberately linked the missing aircraft to Amaechi in order to malign him, stressing that Wike made a false allegation.
He said that the information about the state of the aircraft was in the handover note that the Amaechi administration prepared and gave to the Wike administration, wondering why the current governor would now feign ignorance about the aircraft.
The former transportation commissioner said: “The whole information about that aircraft – the Legacy plane, was in the handover notes prepared by the ministry for the incoming administration in 2015, including the fact that the plane was to be sold, because it was more economical to sell it off.
“Wike has sought to malign and attack his predecessor and erstwhile benefactor, the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi by making false allegations. This time the governor claims that his predecessor secretly abandoned an aircraft belonging to the Rivers State Government in Germany.
“The lie in the Rivers State Government rant is so obvious. It is simply not possible that a plane that was properly documented in the handover notes of the state’s Ministry of Transport (which I supervised as Commissioner) to the incoming administration in 2015, can be said to be secretly abandoned? How?
“When we got the new aircraft that the current government is using now, the older Legacy aircraft was sent to Germany for repairs and refurbishment and then to be sold to generate revenue for critical infrastructure projects in the state.
“To the previous administration, there was no economic sense to keep and maintain two planes. The cost was just too prohibitive, so the plan was to sell off the older Legacy plane.
“The plane was still in Germany at the time we handed it over to the incoming administration. Everything was in the handover notes of the Ministry of Transport.
“In 2015 when the new administration took over, they claimed the same aircraft had been stolen. Today, they are now saying again that the aircraft was secretly abandoned.”