In line with his resolve to recover all stolen government properties, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has impounded an armoured Range Rover SUV belonging to the immediate past Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha.
Punch reports that the bullet-proof vehicle was removed from Okocha’s residence at Rumuigbo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area at about 9am by security operatives attached to Government House.
It would be recalled that a Lexus SUV was on Monday, June 18, 2015 recovered from the residence of the former state Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari by the current administration.
It was learnt that the officials of the government maintained that the car was the property of the government and took it away without any protest even though Okocha was not at home.
Okocha said he was in Abuja to observe the Rivers Election Tribunal when he was informed that Wike has ordered that the car be taken away.
He stated that the car in question was his ‘status car,’ which he is legally permitted to own after his service as a Government House chief of staff.
He said, “I have just been informed of the forceful confiscation of my status car in the usual brigandage and ‘Rambo’ approach, which typifies the new caretaker administration in Rivers State.”
Governor Wike’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, however, stated that it was impossible for the car to be a status car of a chief of staff, Government House, adding that the four tyres were removed at the point it was parked.
He said, “As chief of staff, he (Okocha) has no right to use a bulletproof car without leave from government. Yes, a bulletproof Range Rover was recovered from his (Okocha) residence.
“However, what is staggering is that he removed all the tyres to demobilise the car and obviously to frustrate recovery.
“That act in itself is highly suspicious and obviates the need for any further evidence that it was stolen from Government House. You don’t need to remove the tyres of your car if there are no sinister plots.”