The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay,asked River state Governor Nyesom Wike to provide proof of ownership of the $43.4m, £27,000 and N23m (about N13bn) discovered in Ikoyi, Lagos, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
This barely Five days after the said amount was uncovered in a building in Ikoyi, Lagos, River state Governor Wike seek federal government intervention on the seized cash.
Meanwhile, the state PDP insisted that the ruling All Progressives Congress used part of Rivers State money to fund its electioneering campaign of the president in 2015.
Wike insist that, the money was proceed from the sale of gas turbine belonging to Rivers State by Amaechi.
Sagay said Wike must present evidence that the cash belonged to the Rivers State Government or else he would not be taken seriously.
The senior advocate of Nigeria said, “The court has already given an order that the seizure should be advertised and anybody, who has an interest or thinks he is the owner, should come in and file an affidavit and explain the basis upon which he is claiming the money.
“So, if Rivers State is serious about what it is saying, it has a fair opportunity to present its case. This should not be a matter of politics. This is something that has to be legally established; not politics of attack.
“The Rivers matter is pure politics as far as I am concerned. Since the NIA has claimed ownership, all they need to do is to go to court and present documents and satisfactorily convince the courts that it owns the money and it was obtained legitimately.”
The National Intelligence Agency had also gone to President Muhammadu Buhari to claim ownership of the funds and also reportedly present documents as evidence that the funds were approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The minister of Transport Amaechi had earlier dismissed Wike’s claim, describing it as reckless and unfounded, saying he (Amaechi) knew nothing about the seized billions.
Wike, on Easter Sunday, called on Christians in the state to seek God’s intervention over the seized $43m, that God should touch the Federal Government of Nigeria to return the money to the state’s coffers.
Speaking at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Rumuepirikom, Wike said, “We need the prayer of the church because there is nothing that prayer cannot do, that God should touch the government of Nigeria so that it will return the money to us. What we are interested in is for the money to come back to us,”.
He said, “I cannot declare war on the Federal Government. Anybody bringing Buhari’s name should leave Buhari and face his own problems. The issue is who kept the money at the Ikoyi residence?
He insisted that “The money was kept there by Rotimi Amaechi. No amount of blackmail; no amount of distraction will stop us from getting our money.”
The Saint Peter’s Anglican Church Vicar ,Venerable Israel Omosioni, prayed God to grant the request of Rivers people for the Ikoyi billions to be returned.