The political battle between Governor Nyesom Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, took a new twist on Wednesday with the Rivers State vowing to probe the N82million allegedly spent by the former governor to organise a dinner in honour of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
The Rivers Commissioner of Information, Austin Tam-George, said the state government would demand refund from Soyinka if government confirms that he received part of the funds in cash.
The commissioner said the point of departure between Amaechi, who is now Minister of Transportation and Governor Wike, was the insistence by the latter that the former must adhere to probity and accountability in all governmental actions.
Speaking during a radio programme on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Mr. Tam-George alleged that the former governor “amassed N1.1billion debt on frivolous expenditure” through the Ministry of Information and Communications.
“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 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.
The commissioner stressed that all fraudulent actions allegedly committed by Mr. Amaechi would not go unchallenged by Wike’s administration.
Mr. Tam-George further alleged that former Governor Amaechi betrayed the trust of Rivers people by embarking on “irresponsible expenses”, which he said led to the misuse of N3trillion that accrued to the state during his tenure.
He also alleged that the former governor left several months unpaid salaries, pensions, abandoned projects and unpaid scholarships despite receiving N3trillion as revenue.