The multi-billion naira magnificence, splendour of a mansion located along the Ada George Road in Port Harcourt, believed to be owned by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has become a tourist attraction.
The sprawling structures are built at a time when Nigeria is passing through excruciating cash crunch.
As a result, many estate developers as well as ordinary passersby who have seen the new palatial structures are stunned by its exquisite exterior. Wike was said to have built what served as his residence there until he became chief of staff to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in 2007. He must have brought down what used to be there, to put up the current mansion.
The sprawling structure, sitting on approximately 20 plots of land, which far outstrips what Wike used to have is physically standing there at the moment.
It was also learnt that the property was expanded in size through a deliberate buy-out plan which possibly enticed several persons who used to own residential houses within the vicinity to sell their properties and then relocate to somewhere else.
Some individuals who spoke to TNN reasoned that it was not possible for Wike to be easily persuaded to sell his plots of land to any of his neighbours.
The fully developed property has just about everything - tennis court, volleyball court, meeting halls, Olympic-sized swimming pool and a chapel with an imposing cross.
The mansion which could easily pass for a mini seat of government was vigorously put under construction by its owner despite the harsh economic realities in Nigeria.
Prominent people from the state, including chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree have spoken on the mansion. "In the past three years and still counting, Governor Wike has consistently lavished the resources of the poor people of Rivers State on choice properties on the Ada-George road in Port Harcourt, where he owned a single structure before he took the oath of office to protect human lives and property.
“While Rivers people languish in abject poverty, Wike is busy acquiring more properties running into billions of naira with threats to revoke the certificates of occupancy of those who have refused to sell their properties to him".
According to Amachree, "Wike spends whooping sums of tax payers' money to pay off the latest property owners which he acquired for himself" .
The Rivers State APC boss, therefore, implored President Muhammadu Buhari to, with minimum delay, direct the Inspector General of Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate Governor Wike's financial deals to curb his alleged mismanagement of the Commonwealth of the Rivers people.
However, associates and close allies of the Rivers State governor who chose to speak with TNN on condition of anonymity dismissed the claims linking Wike to corruption, describing such claims as hogwash, because there are no evidential proofs.
One of the close aides, Christian Cyprian Agada, a legal practitioner, said: "Any person is free to build a house to his or her taste, if he or she has the funds. But to insinuate that Wike used public funds for his own private purpose is what I am completely against. Where are proofs or evidences?", he queried.
TNN made repeated calls to the commissioner for information, Emma Okah as well as the governor's special assistant on electronics media, Simeon Nwakaudu for their comments on the issue, but they would not take the calls, neither would they respond to our text messages.