The Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike, has described as “balderdash” the claim that the money recovered by the EFCC at an apartment in Osborne Towers,Ikoyi Lagos, belonged to the National Intelligence Agency(NIA).
The money recovered on Wednesday was $43.4m, N23m and £27,000. All total N13 billion.
Wike who was highly agitated about the ownership of the money, said on Friday night in Port Harcourt that the money belonged to Rivers state, adding that Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi kept the money in the Osborne home. He said the money should be returned to the state government within seven days or the Federal government should be prepared to face legal action.
“All these things they are saying that the $43m belong to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency is balderdash. When did the NIA begin to keep money in houses? As I speak to you now, the Federal Government is so embarrassed,” Wike said.
“If you recollect in 2015, we said that gas turbines built by Former Governor Peter Odili were sold to Sahara Energy, business partners of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at $319 million.
“That money was used to sponsor the All Progressives Congress for the 2015 general elections. From the date of sale of the gas turbines to May 29, 2015, the money depleted from $319 million to $204,000. What was stashed at the Ikoyi residence was part of that fund.
“I want the President to set up a commission of inquiry. We don’t want to fight anybody; they should set up a commission of inquiry or return our money within seven days. If they don’t, we will take all necessary legal actions and NIA will come and prove where they got the money from.
“The $43m is the proceeds of the sale of the gas turbine sold by the immediate past administration. The gas turbine was built by the (Peter) Odili administration. It (gas turbine) was sold to Sahara Energy.
“The turbine was sold for $319m. But as of May 2015, what was in the account was $204,000. We will avail ourselves and we will be present at the commission of inquiry expected to be set up by the Federal Government. If we are invited, we will come. There is no contradiction in this at all, but I know they (FG) will not agree.”
“Part of the money from the sale of the gas turbine was used to fund the All Progressives Congress campaign. We are telling the world that the money belongs to us. If they (FG) give us the money, I will complete the monorail project,” the governor said.
Amaechi has since denied he neither kept nor owned the money.