Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers State Information Commissioner, Dr Austin Tam-George has 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.
Also, Dr Tam-George declared that the point of departure between former governor, Amaechi and incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike was that the latter (Wike) observed probity and accountability in all governmental actions, something that was thrown overboard by Amaechi.
Addressing Rivers people via a radio programme on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Tam-George regretted that Amaechi’s administration used the Ministry of Information and Communications headed by Ibim Semenitari to amass N1.1billion debt on frivolous expenditure.
“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 three-hour dinner hosted for him by the Amaechi administration.
“If he reveals that he received any fund, 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 will also take up this matter as a financial crime against the people of Rivers State.”
Meanwhile, a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, a Special Assistant to Wike, has noted that “All the fraudulent actions of the Amaechi administration are being addressed by the Wike administration,” pointing out, that it will take time for the legal process to be completed because they are financial crimes,”
According to the statement, “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”.
He noted 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.
He explained that already Rivers people are witnessing the proper use of resources as they are witnessing transformations across the landscape.
The statement further claimed that Amaechi left several months of unpaid salaries, pensions, abandoned projects and scholarships despite receiving N3trillion as revenue under his watch.