Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said the Rivers State government has discovered one of the state’s Legacy 600 aircraft, flown to and abandoned in Germany since 2012 by the then Governor Chibuike Amaechi administration.
Wike, who led a delegation of Rivers leaders to General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, where the aircraft had been abandoned for 10 years, said efforts to repair and retrieve the aircraft would cost the state over 300 million Euros.
Speaking during a meeting with the General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, Wike explained that his administration in a bid to recover state assets, had discovered that the Legacy 600 jet purchased by the Dr. Peter Odili’s administration was 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 information that Legacy 600 belonging to our state is in RUAG, before 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, now, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. While he was in office, by 2012 this plane was brought here for reasons we do not know.”
Wike said there does not exist any document indicating that the aircraft was flown to Germany and abandoned for inexplicable reasons.
“The issue is, why was there no documentation to let the incoming government to know that we have this facility and we sent it to RUAG for inspection. 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.”
Wike said he had to travel to Munich, Germany with a state delegation to prove that the Legacy 600 aircraft has been discovered and about to be returned to the state government.