An Embraer Legacy 600 plane owned by Rivers State Government and “abandoned” in Germany since 2012 by the then Gov. Rotimi Ameachi has been exposed.
Wike, who claimed his government learnt about the plane through intelligence, also indicted Amaechi that the plane was not included in the handing over note to him as governor.
It was the second state asset of the Ameachi era that Wike had stumbled upon.
The scandal emerged at the meeting of the State Executive Council, where it was resolved that the contractor, SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Ltd should be sued.On the aircraft, the governor, said it was “unconscionable for the Ameachi administration to have surreptitiously taken a state owned asset to Germany and abandon it, without any documentation.”
Wike, who led a delegation of Rivers leaders to General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, where the aircraft had been parked, said efforts to repair and retrieve the aircraft has cost the State government over €3 million.
Speaking during a meeting with the General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, Governor Wike explained that his administration in a bid to recover State assets, had through intelligence discovered that the Embraer Legacy 600 jet purchased by the Dr Peter Odili’s administration was in Germany.
“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 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.”
Wike queried: “The issue is, why was there no documentation to let the incoming government to 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.”
Governor Wike, said he had to travel to Munich, Germany with a state delegation to prove that the Legacy 600 aircraft has been discovered and about to be returned to the state government.
Persecondnews had reported that Amaechi is currently embroiled in several fraudulent contracts in the Federal Ministry of Transportation for which stakeholders and Nigerians are calling for his sack by President Muhammadu Buhari.