The Akwa Ibom State government, led by Emmanuel Udom, has been accused of hindering fresh efforts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe former governor Godswill Akpabio’s N1.4 billion alleged gift to a bank.
An EFCC detective had claimed that Apkabio, apart from other allegations already in the public domain, had in 2013, “paid N566, 883,728.66; N441,808,081.90; and N392, 631,943.37 as gifts to a new generation bank.”
The commission said that it has made some progress in trying to uncover the circumstances that led to such a huge amount being given as a gift to a bank, including writing to the bank to explain why the governor allegedly gave it such a gift.
But the Akwa Ibom State Government it was gathered, has sued the anti-graft agency before the court, questioning its right to investigate state affairs.
It was further learnt that Akwa Ibom government had refused to respond to seven requests from the EFCC, demanding it to release some of the officials of the government for interrogation as part of its investigation in the matter.
“On March 7, 2017, the commission wrote to the Secretary to the State Government, asking for the release of Mr. Effiong Efiakedoho, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Special Duties, to appear before the EFCC on March 13.
“He was summoned specifically in respect of matters relating to a hotel, Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, Raffia City Plaza, A 342 Highway. There was no response.
“On May 8, 2017, a letter, requesting the Accountant General of the state to appear at the EFCC on May 18, was also ignored.
“The Accountant General was specifically summoned in respect of an aspect of the investigation relating to a company, Sindeng Nigeria Limited.
“The Commissioner for Works was also invited through a letter of May 19, 2017 and asked to report to the commission’s zonal office in Port Harcourt with respect to a road construction contract awarded to Nigturks Civil Technologies Limited. He too failed to honour the invitation.
“A May 26, 2017 letter to the Secretary to the State Government to release the Accountant General of the state for interrogation on June 5, on the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, was also ignored,” an EFCC source claimed.
The EFCC lamented that the continued delay of the matter could affect the case.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears
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