Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, says the monies the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) found in an apartment on Osborne Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, belong to the state.
Operatives of the anti-graft agency had raided the apartment on Wednesday, discovering $43m, £27,000, and N23m stashed in fireproof safes.
A controversy had spiralled over the owner of the cash. But the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) later claimed ownership of the monies.
The agency said the monies were for some covert operations it was undertaking.
However, speaking with journalists on Friday, Wike said the cash was that of Rivers state.
He described the claim of the NIA as “bladderdash”.
He alleged that the monies were part of funds Chibuike Amaechi, minister of transportation, diverted while he was governor of the state.
He asked the government to set up a commission of inquiry on the matter and to release the monies to it within seven days or face legal action.
“All these things they are saying that the $43m belong to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency is balderdash. When did the NIA begin to keep money in houses? As I speak to you now, the federal government is so embarrassed,” he said.
“I want the president to set up a commission of inquiry. We don’t want to fight anybody; they should set up a commission of inquiry or return our money within seven days. If they don’t, we will take all necessary legal actions and NIA will come and prove where they got the money from.
“The $43m is the proceeds of the sale of the gas turbine sold by the immediate past administration. The gas turbine was built by the (Peter) Odili administration. It (gas turbine) was sold to Sahara Energy.
“The turbine was sold for $319m. But as of May 2015, what was in the account was $204,000. We will avail ourselves and we will be present at the commission of inquiry expected to be set up by the federal government. If we are invited, we will come. There is no contradiction in this at all, but I know they (FG) will not agree.”
“Part of the money from the sale of the gas turbine was used to fund the All Progressives Congress campaign. We are telling the world that the money belongs to us. If they (FG) give us the money, I will complete the monorail project.”
However, Wike did not claim ownership of the £27,000 and N23m — and was silent on if the turbines were also sold in pounds and naira.
Calls by TheCable to the telephone of David Iyofor, media aide of the minister, were unanswered, just as an SMS to him was not responded to.