Wike accuses Amaechi of secretly abandoning Rivers’ aircraft in Germany
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has accused his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of secretly abandoning a Legacy 600 aircraft owned by the state, after he (Amaechi) had flown with the plane to Germany in 2012.
Wike’s disclosure was contained in a statement on Tuesday by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kevin Ebiri, who said the state government made the discovery when Wike led a delegation of Rivers State leaders to General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, where the aircraft was abandoned.
The Governor said it was lamentable that the immediate past administration “surreptitiously took a state-owned asset to Germany and abandoned same there without any documentation.”
He added that the state has so far spent over €3 million (N1.4 billion) in efforts to repair and retrieve the aircraft which was purchased for the state by the Dr. Peter Odili administration.
While speaking during a meeting with Markus Froetshci, General Atomics Aerotec’s Business Development Manager, Wike explained that his administration, in a bid to recover the state assets, discovered the abandoned Legacy 600 jet purchased in Germany.
Froetschi had earlier confirmed that the aircraft was brought to Germany in 2012 and had since been abandoned at the General Atomic’s facility.
Wike said he personally had to travel to Germany with a state delegation to prove that the Legacy 600 aircraft had been discovered and about to be returned to the state government.
In the statement titled “How we discovered Rivers’ aircraft secretly abandoned in Germany by Amaechi,” Wike said:
“When we came into office in 2015, we never had an idea that our plane was in your facility. It was a matter of asking questions before we got the information that a Legacy 600 belonging to our State is in RUAG, before General Atomics.
“We tried to make contact with you and which you obliged. So, we want to sincerely thank you for not hiding anything from us, because it is the property of the State government.
“This plane was bought in 2003 by the government of Dr Peter Odili, and by 2007, he had handed over to the next government which was my predecessor’s, now, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
“While he was in office, by 2012 this plane was brought here. Reasons we do not know.
“The issue is, why was there no documentation to let the incoming government know that we have this facility and we sent it to RUAG for inspection?
“Again, I do know from experience that inspection of such facility does not take more than six months. So, if it was brought in 2012, expectantly at least, by early 2013, the plane ought to have come back for use.”