The end, certainly, may not be in sight over the face off between the Rivers State Government and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as the state Commissioner for Information, Dr Austin Tam-George, Wednesday, declared that the state government will demand a refund of the N82million expended by former Governor Amaechi on Professor Wole Soyinka’s dinner, if it confirms that the Nobel Laureate received part of the funds in cash.
The commissioner also disclosed that former Governor Amaechi and Governor Nyesom Wike, who were political allies before, fell apart because of Wike’s insistence that Amaechi observed probity and accountability in all government’s actions. This, he said was thrown overboard by the former governor.
Ada-George, who was speaking on a programme on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, regretted that the Amaechi’s administration used the Ministry of Information and Communications, headed by Ibim Semenitari to amass N1.1billion debt on frivolous expenditure.
The commissioner further said: “I will seek the permission of the Governor to formally write Professor Wole Soyinka, a known supporter of Amaechi if he received part of the N82million spent on a 3-hour Dinner hosted for him by the Amaechi administration.
“If he agrees that he received such funds, then he will be compelled to refund same to the coffers of Rivers State. At present, we have presented these details to the Police for investigation and prosecution. We shall also take up this matter as a financial crime against the people of Rivers State.”
According to the commissioner, all the fraudulent actions of the Amaechi administration are being addressed by the Wike administration, adding that it will take time for the legal process to be completed because they are financial crimes.
Ada-George further stated that Amaechi betrayed the trust of Rivers people by embarking on irresponsible expenses, which led to the mismanagement and fraudulent misuse of N3trillion that accrued to the state under his watch, adding that Wike had to leave the Amaechi administration when the former governor refused to adhere to patriotic advice to use Rivers State resources to develop the state.
“The point of departure between Former Governor Amaechi and Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was Wike’s commitment to probity and accountability. Governor Wike refused to be part of the financial mismanagement of resources that accrued to the state “, Tam-George said.
According to him, the people of Rivers State are already enjoying the proper use of resources as they are witnessing transformations across the landscape.
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