Abiye Sekibo, a former Minister of Transportation and Director-General of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, has demanded a public apology from Governor Nyesom Wike over his recent claim that he was given N5.1 billion contracts by the state government.
Sekibo described the allegation as an orchestrated attempt to tarnish his image.
Wike had on Monday at the inauguration of 319 ward and 32 constituency liaison officers in Port Harcourt, said Sekibo is a self-centered politician who has failed to attract any democratic dividends to Okrika Local Government Area while he was minister of transportation.
The governor also accused Sekibo of turning against him despite receiving N2.1bn Okrika sand-filling contract, N2bn Okochiri internal road contract, and the N1.4bn contract for the Okujaku Street, Danjuma Drive in Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt, from his administration.
But reacting to the allegation on Wednesday, Sekibo in a statement through his lawyer, Christian Onuobodo Elenwo, denied receiving the said contracts, saying he only recommended competent contractors to execute the projects at Wike’s request.
He said: “Ordinarily, our client would not deem it necessary to respond to these deliberately orchestrated falsehoods primarily targeted to tarnish and destroy the hard-earned reputation of our client. However, our client since the release of this false statement by Governor Wike; has been inundated with phone calls from different people all over the country to find out the truth or otherwise of these allegations. We have our client’s instruction to state the true and correct facts as follows:
“Our client is not a contractor and has never been awarded any of the above Contracts by the Rivers State Government. The contracts were awarded to Gascon Limited and our client is neither a director, nor a shareholder in Gascon Limited.
“Due to the cordial relationship our client had with the Governor coupled with the facts that two of these contracts were to be executed in our client’s hometown of Okrika, the Governor asked our client to recommend a competent company that could execute these projects. This led to our client’s recommendation of Gascon Limited to the Rivers State Government.
“Gascon Limited upon the award of these Contracts immediately mobilized to the sites and had successfully achieved 100%; 80% and 65% completion of these projects respectively to the knowledge of the Rivers State Government.
“We have our client’s further instruction to demand the immediate retraction of these false allegations and the publication of unreserved apology to our client in a national newspaper by the governor of Rivers State.”