Rivers State Government on Friday ordered the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, former military administrator of the state, Anthony Ukpo (retd.) and others who had held public offices in the past to return N97bn.
The State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who had announced the suspension of some permanent secretaries said to have been indicted by the report of the Justice George Omereji commission of inquiry, declared that the sum was misappropriated in the sale of Rivers State valued assets.
The State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Emma Okah, said Amaechi and others found to have been involved in the misappropriation of state funds must return them or face prosecution.
According to him, “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 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 I gas turbine and Eleme gas turbine, have been very difficult to justify.
“They have therefore recommended the review of the sale of the power assets and the Government of Rivers State has accepted that recommendation on the refunds of proceeds by Chibuike Amaechi, Chamberlain Peterside, and Augustine Nwokocha, in furtherance of these 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.
“Government accepts this recommendation and directs the office of the honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, to promptly set in motion the appropriate machinery for the recovery of the proceeds of the sale of the gas turbines from the former governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, and every other person implicated in the commission’s report.”