Sagay says that for Wike’s claims to be taken seriously, there must be evidence provided to back them up
He noted that the matter is already before the court and Wike can file court papers explaining how the money belonged to Rivers people
Wike has taken the matter to church where he has urged Christians at Easter to pray for the return of the funds
The Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) has asked Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike to provide proof that the $43.4m, £27,000 and N23m (about N13bn) discovered by EFCC in a house in Ikoyi, Lagos state belongs to his state.
The Punch reports that Sagay said to be taken seriously, Wike has to present evidence the money in question actually belonged to the people of the oil-rich south-south state.
He 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.
“They (state officials) need to file an affidavit to establish ownership and if they can’t, they will lose. So, they have an avenue to establish ownership now and let them go ahead.
“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.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ reported that Wike has taken the matter to church instead. The governor has advised Christians in the state to pray for the return of the funds
Speaking during Easter church service at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Rumuepirikom, Governor Wike said that Christians have a responsibility to pray that God touches the federal government of Nigeria to return the money to the coffers of Rivers, because the money belongs to the state government.