Amaechi denies ownership of N13 billion found in Lagos apartment

Chibuike Amaechi
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday denied links to the more than N13 billion recovered from an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, acting on a tip-off on Wednesday, found $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 hidden inside an apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi.

The recoveries were valued at N13 billion based on prevailing exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Mr. Amaechi, who is the immediate past governor of Rivers State, slammed his successor, Nyesom Wike, for linking him to the money.

Mr. Wike accused Mr. Amaechi of being the owner of the N13 billion, which was recovered in different currencies by the anti-graft EFCC on Wednesday, saying the money should be returned to Rivers State coffers.

“We have facts to prove that the said money belongs to the Rivers State Government,” Mr. Wike told reporters in Port-Harcourt Friday, and gave the Buhari administration “seven days to return or money” or face “legal action.”

“We need that money for projects,” Mr. Wike said.

The governor made the claims after the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, claimed ownership of the funds.

The presidency and security sources told this newspaper on Friday that former President Goodluck Jonathan approved the funds for the 30-year old secret service agency after its immediate past Director General, Olaniyi Oladeji, alerted him to the need for some “crucial and covert security projects”.

The Director General of the NIA, Ayodele Oke, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the money belonged to his agency.

But Mr. Wike said the NIA’s claim was false and suggested that it was designed by the All Progressives Congress-controlled federal government as a cover-up or face-saving mechanism.

“If you recollect in 2015, we said that gas turbines built by Former Governor Peter Odili were sold to Sahara Energy, business partners of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at $319 million.

“That money was used to sponsor the All Progressives Congress for the 2015 general elections. From the date of sale of the gas turbines to May 29, 2015, the money depleted from $319 million to $204,000. What was stashed at the Ikoyi residence was part of that fund.

“As I speak to you, the Federal Government is so embarrassed that this has happened. All the stories that the money belongs to the NIA are fake,” the governor said.

Mr. Wike’s comments prompted Mr. Amaechi to issue another press statement on the controversy.

The minister first denied any connection to the recovered money after speculation in the social media that the money belonged to him.

His spokesman, David Iyofor, described Mr. Wike’s claims as “malicious, frivolous and another failed attempt to divert attention from the mess he has created in Rivers State.”

“For clarity and emphasis, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is not the owner of the $43million and the Ikoyi apartment in which the money was recovered from. Amaechi has no business, link or connection to the money or property. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi does not know who owns the money or Ikoyi apartment.”

“Wike’s malicious allegation of corruption against Amaechi in the sale of the Gas Turbines is not new.

“This false claim has been punctured repeatedly with facts and evidence of the transfer payments for the power plants into Rivers State government accounts by Sahara Energy.

“The records of how the funds were spent and what it was spent on are in the records of the State government.  Amaechi has absolutely no business or any interest whatsoever in Sahara Energy.

“The company was already a thriving business concern before Amaechi’s emergence as governor of Rivers State in 2007.

“We urge all right-thinking members of the public to completely disregard all the false, politically motivated no-proof claims by Nyesom Wike and his minions as it concerns Amaechi and the $43million and Ikoyi property,” he said.

Mr. Amaechi challenged Mr. Wike to proceed to court and present any evidence that could prove his ownership of the funds.

“Yet again, we challenge Wike to charge Amaechi to court if he has any shred of evidence that the money belongs to Rivers State and was kept in the Ikoyi apartment by Amaechi.

“But like his numerous frivolous accusations in the past, we know he won’t go to court. He has nothing to substantiate his blatant lies. This Wike’s recent tale like his previous ones is a big sham, a disgraceful political drama, and a campaign of calumny to defame and destroy the sterling reputation of Rotimi Amaechi. This is now Wike’s sole life ambition.”

When contacted, Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Austin Tam-George, said the state does not have anything new to say about the controversies.

“What we have for now is what the governor has said yesterday,” Mr. Tam-George told PREMIUM TIMES Saturday evening.

 


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  • Amir

    Any news promoted by Nigerias triangle of insanity, namely Wike, Fayose and Fani-Kayode does not have any credibility.

    • a.akins.wuyi

      IF THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FORMALLY CLAIMS TO BE the OWNER OF THE $50MILLION
      that was FOUND IN OSBORNE PRIVATE APARTMENTS, THEN, THE EFCC SHOULD ARREST THE
      DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, (N.I.A) MR. AYODELE OKE,
      AND CHARGED TO COURT FOR CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE AND CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD –
      so as to deter THE CHIEF OF ARMY FROM also PUTTING in the fridge of a BEER PARLOUR.

      • Akinwuyi

        @disqus_TeKEbTtJ8r:disqus: IF THE
        NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FORMALLY CLAIMS TO BE the OWNER OF THE $50MILLION that
        was FOUND IN OSBORNE PRIVATE APARTMENTS, THEN, THE EFCC SHOULD ARREST THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, (N.I.A) MR. AYODELE OKE, AND CHARGED TO
        COURT FOR CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE AND CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD – so as to deter THE
        CHIEF OF ARMY FROM also PUTTING army funds in the fridge of a BEER PARLOUR.

        • concerned child

          @paulirumundomon:disqus

          Few months ago, in January this year, another Buhari appointee, Osita Aboloma, D-G Nigerian Standards Organization of Nigeria (S.O.N), reportedly issued authorization to certain importers
          to bring in five (5) billion Naira worth of fake or defective car tyres into Nigeria. The tyres were then shipped in and made to legally pass through Customs because the importers had S.O.N certification on quality approval. Since we know that private profit is the motive of economic and financial crimes we do not need to ask how much bribe was paid by the importers. All we know is that under the
          thumb of a very corrupt Muhamadu Buhari government.

          • Jerry

            What does the money has to do with Buhari or Amaechi? Do you guys think anymore. Apc appointed Efcc chairman will call a press conference with out checking with the president if they want to cover a minister close to the president. Have you guys lost your minds. God help Nigeria

      • Coalition for Good Governance

        @disqus_TeKEbTtJ8r:disqus

        The National Intelligence Agency (N.I.A) will witness sackings if it
        continues the cover up it endeavours to act as fall guy in this financial crime
        because the N.I.A will make President look clueless as a president who did not
        know that 13 billion Naira was taken out of the national treasury and hidden
        away in a private flat belonging to Rotimi Amaechi. So, the best bet for the
        N.I.A is to stop in its tracks and discontinue this shameful role of a fall
        guy.

        Rotimi Amaechi will have a more serious case to answer on the bogus
        claim of the N.I.A because a privately-owned flat is an improper custody for
        official funds. The N.I.A should know it’s answerable under the law of
        financial crimes just like anyone else who hid away treasury funds behind a
        false wall inside the private house of another person.

        Nobody in Nigeria
        believes the bogus story the N.I.A wants to spin. For the first time, the N.I.A
        has come into public view as a probable criminal organization. Rotimi Amaechi
        is not a staff member of the N.I.A and has no right to take custody of supposed
        N.I.A funds in his private house where he alone has access and where N.I.A
        itself has no right of access.

        • Mufu Ola

          So u prefer to believe your co lunatic Wike who failed to provide any clear cut evidence that the money belong to Ameach?

    • pheliciti

      3 Mad Musketeers…..

  • E.O. Ikoli

    “Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is not the owner of the $43million
    and the Ikoyi apartment in which the money was recovered from. Amaechi has no
    business, link or connection to the money or property. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
    does not know who owns the money or Ikoyi apartment.”

    At the gate of every apartment building there’s a listing of apartment occupants. Why have Nigerian journalists
    and newspaper editors lost all initiative on this simple enquiry? I will never understand this utter display of lack
    of common sense all over Nigeria. It is so annoying it betrays irreversible illiteracy now prevailing in the country.

    Too many guesses by the confused Nigeria media have made a mess of things. A simple check with the caretaker
    there will reveal the answer in five minutes, just as NEPA and water bills will. Even a merely oral testimony by the
    residents of other apartments will make far more sense than what the media have been publishing (wrongly),
    as if to mislead the public.

    The $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 – all hidden inside the apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi,
    all show the depth of corruption under Muhamadu Buhari’s directionless government. There’s now an obvious
    cover-up and a determined attempt to manipulate the media to muddy the waters and narrate conflicting stories.
    The simple question: ‘Who owns the flat at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, where the money was found?’, is unanswered.

    • Questions

      Does the Nigerian Police know the occupant of the presidential villa in Abuja? I doubt it.

      • faderin joseph

        @disqus_TeKEbTtJ8r:disqus

        No institution in Nigeria is working
        – not even the media or the Police. I have never heard of any country where
        the Police and the Media cannot uncover the resident of an apartment building
        inside a block of flats where 50 million dollars STOLEN was found hidden behind
        a false wall in a purpose-built wardrobe. No other country’s government has ever
        showed such level of idiocy.

        After four days and despite having gone to court two days earlier and got interim
        forfeiture order the Nigerian government of Muhamadu Buhari disgraces itself
        worldwide that it does not know and cannot find out from rental payments or
        purchase invoice for the apartment’s leasehold interest, who the resident of that
        apartment is. This task should have been urgent given that the said apartment
        is being doubly used for moneylaundering and treasury theft activity.

        • Concerned Nigerian

          All those things are known but nothing will b done since d crime is committed by somebody close to buhari.

          • aapeecee!

            @paulirumundomon:disqus

            PDP had nothing to do with $50million theft by APC party

            It’s now clear that this theft of 50 million dollars took place within the APC government government
            officials. No PDP member was involved in this insane theft. APC party members in government
            planned and executed this grand heist by themselves. This is proved by the Buhari APC-led
            government ADMITTING intramural thefts by passing the buck to the appointee of Buhari
            in charge of National Intelligence Agency (N.I.A) Mr. Ayodele Oke, but without the APC
            government having any sense of honesty or responsibility to disclose the occupier
            of the flat where the stolen money was hidden. All the bogus stories earlier told
            about Mu’azu and about some sacked NNPC woman were FALSE STORIES
            planted by the APC government to confuse the public and use the PDP
            as scapegoat in this straightforward theft done EXCLUSIVELY by APC.

      • A. Akinwuyi

        @disqus_TeKEbTtJ8r:disqus: IF THE
        NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FORMALLY CLAIMS TO BE the OWNER OF THE $50MILLION which
        was FOUND IN OSBORNE PRIVATE APARTMENTS, THEN, EFCC SHOULD ARREST THE
        DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, (N.I.A); MR.
        AYODELE OKE AND CHARGE TO COURT FOR CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE
        AND CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD – so as to deter THE CHIEF OF ARMY
        FROM also PUTTING army funds in the fridge of a BEER PARLOUR.

    • Concerned Nigerian

      What you are saying can only b done by investigative journalists like SR but none of the security agencies will enter d case again now that d presidency has already mentioned d owner of the money.

      • Taiwo O.

        @disqus_TeKEbTtJ8r:disqus

        Me I don’t believe anything Buhari government is saying on this 50 million dollar theft O!

        The flat is a private flat leased or purchased by an individual whose identity is concealed.

        It is because the government conceals that leaseholder that it now spins all sorts of lies.

        But the offence here is now completed; even if the money-launderer is being concealed.

        The offence is the putting of treasury funds into improper custody with fraud intent.

        The Director General of National Intelligence Agency should soon be arraigned for trial.

    • paul irumundomon

      Buhari and his selective justice won’t allow your view to take place, God bless you for that you basic question, at least we have adult Nigerians and not ten years old babies at those news media companies.

      • okpada

        Is it PDP EFCC that bursted the crime or APC under Buhari? Some of us no longer reason properly before writing because of hatred and sentiment. May God have mercy

    • Gbola

      Oga,
      Na lie. Not in Nigeria.
      A directory of Private Tenant’s and owner’s names are never displayed on no gate or wall in Nigeria.
      Ypu might find such in business properties NOT private properties.

      Oga,
      You’ve stayed too long abroad.
      Come back home.

    • Abidilagungun

      Have you visited a Nigerian condominium? No such information exists anywhere. At least the ones I’ve been to in ikoyi. My worry is why the efcc cannot tell us who owns the money. It can’t do investigations or has it lost its tongue?

      • Gbola

        I’m not even concerned about the true owner of the money .

        I’m more interested in who owns that property.

        Identify the true owner of the apartment and all other questions would be answered.

        • Kaycee2000

          @gbolahgbolah:disqus : The owner of the building is irrelevant. The resident of the flat at issue is decisive.

          The Police have a duty to uncover the rental agreement or the purchase agreement of that flat.

          • Gbola

            The flat is supposedly OWNED.
            That’s why I’m interested in the identity of the owner .

            The rumour mill that’s been circulating alleged Amaechi to being the owner.

            Amaechi has so far denied.

            So The next question is who owns it ??

            I expect the media houses , SERAP, civil rights activists, investigative journalists to pounce on this issue and reveal the owner.

            If SaharaReporters journalists wouldn’t investigate it then why can’t Vanguard journalists ??

          • Factsay

            you need help walahi

          • Gary

            Have you forgotten that Amaechi, Muazu, etc. all belonged to the PDP until some left to join the APC?
            So your thesis about Amaechi not having anything to do with the PDP does not factor in their business dealings and ties prior to the PDP split.

            Amaechi could have bought the apartment from Muazu when the going was good and even at a discount.
            Which is why I give credence to the accusations of the PDP folks that they know who truly owns that apartment.

          • Gbola

            Well,

            In that case, I expect them to further expose Amaechi.

            The owner of the entire building is Muazu.
            So he (Muazu) must know PRECISELY how Amaechi schemed to buy this flat.
            He must know what documents were tendered and exactly how it was funded.
            Afterall,
            Amaechi couldn’t have paid cash for the flat.
            He must have used a payment instrument and tendered that instrument to Muazu before the flat could’ve been sold.

            So since Amaechi is refuting claims that he’s the owner of the flat then it should be fairly easy for PDP to cease this opportunity and nail him.

            It’s just my opinion bro.
            Either way, I would like to know who owns the flat.
            Hopefully the PDP members like Muazu, Wike, Fayose, fani-kayode etc can help us (the public) by blowing the whistle on Amaechi.

            ■■■■■■
            One thought just came to my mind.
            Could this entire thing have been orchestrated by PDP peeps ??

            NIA boss (Oke) is a PDP guy.
            Could the PDP peeps have arranged for this money to have been moved into Amaechi’s flat.
            And then had a whistle-blower blow the whistle at Magu’s ear, so that we would all be talking about Amaechi’s flat.

            Basically,
            Was this a way to not only “snitch” on Amaechi’s flat BUT to set the money up in his apartment ??

            Because wherever this money was prior to moving it to this flat, the money was safe.

            So in this present climate, why move it from where it’s always been safe to an apartment.
            What could the reason be ??

            Also,
            This money was moved in the mod-day.
            They could be done it in the early hours of the morning OR night sef.

            Amaechi wouldn’t be that dumb as to be moving money around right now.
            He could’ve kept it wherever it previously was.

            Whatever is the case, I am just interested in knowing who owns that flat .

  • new republic

    Whose name on that appt,Bohari and apc must come clean on this issues,

    • Gibson Bosah

      Biafraud imbecile

  • Sanssouci

    Perhaps Amaechi is innocent perhaps he is not, for sure though I don’t buy that hogwash NIA story

    • AryLoyds

      The owner of the money can be easily traced , simply by looking at the paper wrapping on the money , it carries a bank stamp , date , and cashier signature. So trust me the presidency and Magu are hiding something. This is Nigeria , so let’s all look the other way and pretend nothing happened. Buhari will go down in history as one mentally corrupt and immoral president Nigeria ever had .

  • chiemex

    Who owns the apartment? that is the big question

    • government

      Okija spirits

    • okpada

      The building belongs to Adamu Muazu the chairman of PDP before and during the 2015 election. So he should know better

    • Gibson Bosah

      So after reading about the story,u still ask such question.then u hv low IQ

    • Irumundomon

      The Director General of the NIA, Ayodele Oke, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the money belonged to his agency. (THIS IS HOW BUHARI MANIPULATE nIGERIANS)

  • paul irumundomon

    The mess in Nigeria is caused by pdp members, no one apc meember is imvolved. The Nigerian youth, your rights are all taken away and be afraid to stand on the path of facts and trade away your God given right.
    A black American woman, gave all blacks in the world freedom, a woman and not a man, you nigerian youths, stay put in your sufferings, support every evil and very soon, you all will be traded into the next generation of Nigeria slavery. You either do the fighting, die doing it for your freedom, or die in interment camps. Which one first.

    • The Concerned Child

      @paulirumundomon:disqus

      Few months ago, in January this year, another Buhari appointee, Osita Aboloma, the D-G Nigerian Standards Organization of Nigeria (S.O.N), reportedly issued authorization to certain importers to bring in five (5) billion Naira worth of fake or defective car tyres into Nigeria. The tyres were then shipped in and made to legally pass
      through Customs because the importers had S.O.N certification on quality approval. Since we know that private
      profit is the motive of economic and financial crimes we do not need to ask how much bribe was paid by
      the importers. All we know is Nigeria is in all sorts of troubles under the thumb of a corrupt Buhari rule.

      • Gibson Bosah

        Next time ends with #Copied

    • design

      The Youth will rise. I promise you!

      • Irumundomon

        The time is running out. Unemployed graduated set up the Algeria protest, Nigerian youths don’t need sponsor to carry out bloody protest, that will welcome the killings s of almost everyone, who deep their fingers, into the treasury, no matter how shallow or deep.
        No foreign person wants to help, all the money stolen from Nigeria, since 1963, 98% have a safe bank in the west. Open your eyes and die for a genuine reason, than to die of hunger, enough is enough.

  • Mufu Ola

    Wike,Fayose,FaniKayode, the trinity of mentalos!

    • Julius

      Yep, same morons !

  • The Truth

    This APC online news platforms have started to show there true colour. Just yesterday when This Day said this money is being claimed by NIA and Magu messed up ,they shouted that This Day is lying ,and even in there usual magical way of telling lies they even wanted to shamelessly connect Sarakis name to this matter. Now Wike has come out to expose them that this money is Rivers state money and everyone has gone silent. We are know no longer hearing from there reliable sources in EFCC. All of a sudden this same government that has illegally kept Dasuki locked up for close to 2 years with the accusation that he spent security money without accounting for it ,is saying they have been keeping secretly unaccounted for security money in private homes.Even with Dasuki they didn’t find this huge amount of cash Dollar. What is going on? All we are saying is who is the owner of that Osborne flat.All house ownership is registered with Lagos APC,they can easily tell EFCC and the public that information.It is obvious this money belongs to a Presidential big wigs. If it belonged to an opposition party member they would have been singing the persons name like it was the person that caused all the problems in Nigeria. Even when you read Amaechi’s denial that he is not the owner of the money,he doesn’t once challenge the EFCC to release the name of the owner of the flat. And they are in the same government. Who is fooling who.

    • Lanre

      Nigerians are governed by emotion and not reason. If this happened under a PDP government, Lai Mohammed will not let anyone sleep.

      • Julius

        What do you mean ? The said money was authorized by the past government/president which was under pdp. Did you read the story at all or you simply ignored that fact.

    • Gibson Bosah

      Always take ur drugs at least 2hrs b4 u login

    • Julius

      All you have to do is advice Wike to take the FGN /Amaechi to court to get “his state” money back. You are wasting your time with this irrelevant, disjointed gibberish. If y’all really believe the money belong to the state. By the way, why wasn’t this noise about the money before the raid in that flat at Ikoyi ..if the money was actually missing before then ? Please, educate mi .

  • Man_Enough

    Maybe that money dropped from my Pocket while I was passing. Anyway, I don’t care. Whoever found it should keep it.

  • Julius

    The way forward is for the governor to take the ex-governor and the FGN to court if he believes that the money belong to his state. Why the noise ?

  • Nicolas

    Why should government hasten to claim money found in an apartment..and the only excuse and defence they can offer is that Jonathan approved it since 2015. Nigeria it’s on the road to implode it is only a matter of time.