Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said his administration, through intelligence, discovered one of the State-owned Legacy 600 aircraft that was allegedly flown to and abandoned in Germany since 2012 by the Governor Chibuike Amaechi led administration.
The governor said it was unconscionable for the immediate past administration to secretly take a state-owned asset to Germany and abandon it there without any documentation.
Governor Wike, who led a delegation of Rivers leaders to General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, where the aircraft had been abandoned for ten years, said efforts to repair and retrieve the aircraft had cost the State government over Three Million Euros.
Speaking during a meeting with the General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, Governor Wike explained that Dr Peter Odili’s administration purchased the Legacy 600 jet 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, with General Atomics.
“We tried to make contact with you, and 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.
“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. Again, I know from experience that inspection of such a 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.”
The General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, said the aircraft was brought to Germany by the immediate past administration and abandoned since 2012.
He expressed delight that Governor Wike took the initiative to repair and return the aircraft to Nigeria for use by the State government.
According to him, his company will be done with general maintenance work and deliver the aircraft to the State government by March.