Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State Saturday dismissed the media speculation that the state government’s private jet costs cost $57m (N9bn), saying that it was $45m (N7.1bn).
The Governor made this known through his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari.
He described the report that he inflated the cost of the jet by $10m as unfounded and a figment of the imagination of those spreading such false information.
�The state government has never announced that the aircraft was purchased for $57m. That statement did not come from us. The aircraft was bought for US$45m. We see all these as a distraction,” Amaechi said.
Investigation revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had commenced a discreet probe to determine Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s link to the alleged inflation of the cost of the plane by $10m. The aircraft has been the subject of a row between the Rivers State Government and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
It was learnt that the anti-graft agency is looking into the ‘high possibility’ of alleged money laundering in relation to the purchase of the aircraft.
A source said over the weekend that while the state government claimed to have purchased the Bombardier aircraft with $57m, records available to the EFCC showed that it may have been bought for $47m, thereby creating room for suspicion on how $10m was spent.
It was further gathered that operatives of the EFCC might also be looking into how two aircrafts purchased by the Rivers State Government under former Governor, Peter Odili were managed.
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