The Rivers State Government has ordered former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, retired Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo and some appointees of the former governor to refund about N100 billion allegedly missing from the state’s coffer.
This development is contained in a White Paper released on Friday by the state government on the recommendations of the commission of inquiry set up by the government to probe the alleged sale of valued assets of the state and related matters by the administration of Amaechi.
The Commissioner for Housing, Emma Okah, who read out portions of the White Paper to newsmen on Friday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, said the alleged sale and lease of valuable assets of the state by the former government did not follow due process.
Okah said the Attorney General of the State and Commissioner for Justice, Emma Aguma (SAN), will soon commence proceedings in court to recover the alleged missing money.
He said Amaechi and his Commissioner for Power were among those to be prosecuted.
According to the Commissioner, the former government allegedly diverted part of funds meant for the monorail project, failed Clinotech projects, adding that a loan secured for the development of the agricultural sector was allegedly pocketed by the former administration.
The White Paper, which queried issues around the sale of the four power assets of the state, said the government should review the action for the common good of the state.
Okah’s words: “You will agree with me that the Omereji commission had several terms of references and we will be taking them one after the other.
“The first term of reference is to ascertain the sale of the Omoku 150 megawatts gas turbine, Afam 360 megawatts gas turbine, Trans-Amadi 136 megawatts gas turbine and the Eleme 75 megawatts gas turbine by the administration of former Governor Chibhike Rotimi Amaechi.
“The commission finds as a fact that the sale of 70 per cent equity from the First Independent Power Limited in Omoku gas turbine, Trans-Amadi gas turbine, Afam Phase 1 gas turbine and Eleme gas turbine have been very difficult to justify.
“They have therefore recommended the review of sale of the power assets and the government of Rivers State has accepted that recommendation for refund of proceeds by Chibuike Amaechi, Chamberlain Peterside and Augustine Nwokocha in furtherance of this findings that the sale of the four gas turbines was unjustifiable and against the interest of the government and people of Rivers State.
“The commission recommends that the former governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, along with his former Commissioners for Finance and Power, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside and Augustine Nwokocha respectively, should be held to account for their roles in the sales of the power generation assets of First Independent Power Limited and the disbursement of the proceeds there from.”
The Secretary of the Media and Publicity Committee of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Godstime Orlukwu, said the former governor was ready to meet the state government in court.
Orlukwu described the White Paper as a non-issue.