The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has asked the federal government to prosecute the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, for making “unsubstantiated” claims on the over N13 billion uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
The discovery of the huge money, stacked in local and foreign currencies, had generated controversy, more so since its ownership was initially unknown to the public.
The National Intelligence Agency, NIA,claimed the money belonged to the agency and that it was meant for some special covert operations around the nation.
But the Rivers governor, Mr. Wike, had claimed that the money belonged to Rivers State and that it was stolen and secretly kept in the Ikoyi apartment by Mr. Amaechi, the immediate past governor of Rivers.
“Nigerians would recall that on the night of Friday, April 14, during his hurriedly arranged shambolic press briefing, Wike had threatened the President Buhari administration with fire and brimstone, vowing the mother-of-all legal action against the Federal government if the over $43million was not given to him within seven days,” Mr. Amaechi said in press statement issued on Sunday by his media office.
“The seven-day ultimatum has long expired, yet no action, whether legal or otherwise by Wike to prove his malicious allegations and claim to the money,” he added.
The minister said that Governor Wike also failed to show up when a Federal High Court in Lagos asked anyone laying claim to the money to come forth for it.
“Neither Wike nor his lawyers were anywhere near the court,” he said.
“Wike’s failure to prove his allegations against Amaechi in a court of law or even in the court of public opinion clearly vindicates our position and completely exonerates Amaechi of any link or connection to the Ikoyi money and apartment.
“Wike’s failure to prove this his latest malicious outburst against Amaechi also clearly shows that all previous fake stories of allegations upon allegations of graft against Amaechi by Wike are all lies, like this Ikoyi silly lie from a sick and warped mind.
“Wike sleeps and wakes up every day, with a sole, one-point agenda to attack and denigrate Rotimi Amaechi, his erstwhile benefactor, no matter how ridiculous and silly he sounds.
“Every day in Rivers State, there is one frivolous, false story of what Amaechi did or didn’t do. Same pattern, the same blatant lies with no proof, same old concocted stories of corruption allegations against Amaechi told with different flavours, just like this his latest Ikoyi money blatant lie.
“To stem this dangerous trend, this is why we are in full support of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s call that in the anti-corruption war, detractors who deliberately create distraction should be criminalized and prosecuted.
“Detractors of the fight against corruption like Nyesom Wike, and his lackeys and minions like Femi Fani-Kayode, Lere Olayinka, one Senator George Sekibo who like a clown, foolishly blew a whistle on the floor of the senate to push Wike’s false narrative of the ownership of the Ikoyi money etc, should not be allowed to go scot-free with their politically motivated lies to distract the fight against corruption,” the minister said.