The Rivers State Government has denied inflating the sum of its recently acquired security helicopters.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, who said this at a press briefing, while reacting to a publication in the Sunday Trust, gave the figures of the two Bell 412 EP helicopters as $28,414,640.00.
Mrs Semenitari also said that part of this money was paid by the Federal Government.
The commissioner said that the helicopters, which were purchased by the state government in conjunction with the Federal Government, are for security purposes.
According to her, the helicopters which were fitted with surveillance cameras and armoured plate, will be operated by the police to check illegal oil theft, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities in the state and the Niger Delta region.
Mrs Semenitari, who made available to newsmen copies of the purchase agreement between the Rivers State Government and Bell Helicopters, said that the company could be reached for confirmation, and described as erroneous, insinuations that the helicopters were for the purported 2015 presidential campaigns.
The commissioner also described the Sunday Trust publication as mischievous and lacking in integrity, saying that the paper did not follow up with the doctrine of “covering the field”.
She also pointed out that, the publication fell short of expectation as the report neither gave the model purchased by the government nor the fact that the helicopters were fitted with surveillance cameras and armoured plating.
The commissioner also said that the government would not be distracted by the on-going campaign of calumny against it and the people of the state, and urged journalists to ensure proper investigation before going to press.