Rivers demands refund of N82m Amaechi spent on 80th birthday dinner for Soyinka


    Prof. Wole Soyinka
    Prof. Wole Soyinka

    The Rivers State government has accused former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of N82 million of public funds to organize an 80th birthday dinner for Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, saying it would investigate if he (Soyinka) received part of the funds and demand for refund.

    The State Commissioner of Information, Austin Tam-George who disclosed this during a radio programme on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, said the he will seek the permission of the governor to formally write 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,” he said.

    He said all the fraudulent actions allegedly committed by Mr. Amaechi, who is currently the Minister of Transport, would be investigated by Mr. Wike’s administration.

    The commissioner further alleged that Mr. Amaechi betrayed the trust of Rivers people by embarking on “irresponsible expenses”, which he said led to the misuse of N3 trillion that accrued to the state during his tenure.

    He also alleged that Mr. Amaechi left several months unpaid salaries, pensions abandoned projects and unpaid scholarships despite receiving N3 trillion as revenue.

    Meanwhile, the former governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has debunked allegations by the state government that he misappropriated the sum of N82 million to organise a dinner for Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

    In a statement by the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Media Office, Wednesday, Mr. Amaechi warned Mr. Wike “and the coterie of court-jesters and attention-seekers” in his administration to desist from peddling falsehood.

    Mr. Amaechi also warned against making false allegations and criminalizing legitimate government transactions in a bid to smear his reputation.

    The statement urged Mr. Wike to go to court if he had any case of fraud or misappropriation of state funds against him instead of “this silly distractions”.

    He said the latest allegation by the state government was aimed at distracting the people from Mr. Wike’s “massive electoral fraud” during the last elections.

    “Wike must stop this silly distraction. Rivers people are not interested in his lies and witch-hunt. Rather, Rivers people want to know what will happen to their children that he stopped and cancelled the funding of their scholarships abroad.

    “Rivers people want to know why is the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), an agency set up by law no longer functioning under Wike?

    “Why instead of quality education, a standard set by his predecessor, under Wike, grasses and weeds have taken over the beautiful schools built by Amaechi?

    “Rivers people want to know why the standard health facilities and services put in place by the Amaechi administration are rotting away, not this petty rambling.

    “Rivers people want to know why the Wike government does not care about the security of their lives and property, as violence and criminals have taken over.

    “Rivers people want to know why it feels as if there is no government in Rivers State, and this is in spite of the billions of naira that has accrued to the Wike administration and the tens of billions of naira borrowed,” he alleged.

    The statement warned Mr. Wike against dragging the names of globally respected persons such as Mr. Soyinka into his “unbridled, unashamed and ill-advised attack of his former boss and benefactor”. (Premium Times)


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