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Rivers state aircraft hidden by Amaechi since 2012 found in Germany – Wike

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Governor Nyesom Wike has accused transport minister Rotimi Amaechi of hiding aircraft belonging to Rivers state in Germany.

The governor on Tuesday claimed the state-owned aircraft was taken to and abandoned in Germany in 2012.

According to a statement by the governor’s aide, Kelvin Ebiri, Mr Amaechi’s administration abandoned the aircraft without any documentation.

“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,” said the Rivers government. “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.”

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The aircraft was bought in 2003 by then-Governor Peter Odili and “by 2007 he had handed over to the next government which was my predecessor’s, now, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi,” explained Mr Wike.

The incumbent governor added that he did not know why Mr Amaechi had taken the aircraft to Germany in 2012.

“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,” said the Rivers governor.

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Mr Wike, during a meeting with Markus Froetschi, general manager (business development) of General Atomics Aerotec, disclosed that his government, while making efforts to recover Rivers assets, had through intelligence discovered that the Legacy 600 jet purchased by Mr Odili’s administration was hidden in Germany after Mr Amaechi assumed power, the statement further explained.

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According to the statement, Mr Froetschi confirmed the aircraft was brought to Germany by Mr Amaechi’s government in 2012.

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