Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has claimed ownership of the huge sums of money, uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in an apartment in the Ikoyi area of Lagos on Wednesday.
Governor Wike made this known through his Special Assistant Simeon Nwakaudu, at a press conference at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday and has given the Federal Government an ultimatum of seven days to return the $43million dollars.
The governor also said that investigations by the state government revealed that the money was a proceed from the sale of gas turbines by the immediate past Governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi.
Governor Wike threatened that failure to return the money will lead to the state government taking legal measures to ensure that it gets back her stolen resources.
“The money in question belongs to the former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. We want to confirm that the houses in Ikoyi also belong to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“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 $319million.
“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 $319million to $204,000.What was stashed at the Ikoyi residence was part of that fund“.
Continuing, he said: “We have facts to prove that the said money belongs to the Rivers State Government. The Federal Government must return our money”.
“As I speak to you, the Federal Government is so embarrassed that this has happened. All the stories that the money belongs to the NIA are fake.”
The EFCCon Wednesday uncovered a stash of foreign currencies and Naira notes in Lagos. The monies which were found in a four-bedroom apartment on the 7th floor of a residential building at Osborne Towers located at 16, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, stood at 43.4 million dollars, £27,800 and N23.2 million.
Former Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, had initially alleged that the Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi was the real owner of the Lagos properties where a huge sum of cash was recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, April 12.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of the fund to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The court said the monies should be in the Federal Government’s custody until May 5, for any interested party in the funds to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited.