Amaechi must account for N112b state asset – Rivers govt

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.
The commissioner for information in the state, Emma Okah, said in a statement that Amaechi, who was the governor of the state at the time, sold off the power stations to Sahara Energy, owned by a billionaire businessman from the state, Tonye Cole, towards the end of his administration.
Okah said the then administration allegedly used the proceeds – N112 billion – to fund the political activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which Amaechi is its leader in the state.
Cole recently resigned from the board of Sahara Energy to “join active politics”.
“The reason for Tonye Dele Cole is now better explained.
There isneed to cover the skeletons in the cupboard,” Okah said in the statement.
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-valued state assets under suspicious circumstances from the administration.
Amaechi’s successor, governor Nyesom Wike, had set up a judicial commission of inquiry which indicted 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 has been abandoned because, for over a year, he has failed to file a brief of argument,” 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 Amaechi who is “backing” the EFCCagainst 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.

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