The mischief is all the more evident as the funds referred to are funds from the Rivers State reserve fund which was duly approved by the Rivers State House of Assembly and whose expenditure were duly captured and accounted for.
The commission of inquiry, set up by Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, accused former Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of diverting N53bn.
Vanguard Newspapers reports that Rotimi Amaechis’s media office released a statement.
The statement reads "The mischief is all the more evident as the funds referred to are funds from the Rivers State reserve fund which was duly approved by the Rivers State House of Assembly and whose expenditure were duly captured and accounted for. Ordinarily, we might not have responded to the mischief of Mr. Wike knowing that having failed with his various desperate tactics to stop Amaechi’s nomination as a minister, he has embarked on this last ditch effort which is his trump card in the hope that it will diminish the former governor’s towering stature as a statesman and an honest Nigerian."
The statement added that “However, in keeping with Governor Amaechi’s ethos of transparent and accountable leadership, we will again repeat the facts of the matter. Between 2013 and early 2015, revenue accruing to the government of Rivers State was cut in half due to dwindling federal allocation to states. From about an average of N20 billion, the state began to receive between N9 billion and N10 billion. By the middle of the first quarter of 2015 the state revenue dipped to as low as N6 billion. Salaries alone stood at over N9 billion besides other expenses. Government has set aside a reserve fund as a rainy day fund and had need to fall back to it to fund salaries and projects. The details of the expenditure were clearly captured and this information which was already in the public domain was shared with the incoming administration and the Omereji panel.”
“Government business should be transparent and honest and if indeed Mr. Nyesom Wike understands the basics of governance, then he should know that rather than playing to the gallery with his red herring of a panel, he should simply go to court and prove his spurious allegations of corruption. He should go to court if he is sure there is corruption. Spending resources left behind for the betterment of Rivers people by a prudent and thrifty government on frivolities is indeed irresponsible and unbecoming for a person who aspires to public office, especially that of the exalted office of governor,” the statement said.