….EFCC may subject Nkanga’s signature on cash receipts to forensic tests
By Omeiza Ajayi
Abuja—Who actually received and shared Akwa Ibom State share of the N450 million bribe released by the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, for onward distribution to members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential poll?.
This is the critical question the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is battling hard to resolve since the former military governor of the state, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retd.,who was alleged to have signed and collected the cash, had since denied the claim.
Nkanga said the money was taken to Government House, Uyo and delivered to the Chief of Staff to the governor.
The EFCC, according to findings by Vanguard, has summoned the current Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Etekamba Umoren, who was the Permanent Secretary, Government House/Chief of Staff to former Governor Godswill Akpabio at the time, to appear before its interrogators in Port Harcourt today to explain what he knew about the money.
Umoren was served his letter of invitation last week.
The SSG’s invitation, according to competent sources in EFCC, followed the conflicting submission by officials of Fidelity Bank in Uyo and the former military governor, who doubled as the state coordinator of both Goodluck Jonathan and Udom Emmanuel campaign organisations in the 2015 election.
The former Presidential Air Fleet Commander was also the coordinator of the state Subsidy Reinvestments Programme, SURE-P, and the photocopy of his identity card was allegedly used to acknowledge the receipt of the money in two separate tranches.
While the EFCC initially alleged that the cash was given to Nkanga by an Uyo branch of Fidelity Bank official identified as Saint Anthony Ejiowu, the bank officials have, however, admitted that the cash was offloaded in Government House, Uyo, and not in Nkanga’s house.
But trouble is said to be looming for the former air force pilot since his name appeared in the two ‘receipts’ being bandied about by the bank officials as evidence of his collection of the said amount of money.
One of the ‘receipts’ reportedly signed by Nkanga had a date, while the other did not.
Three officials of the bank, it was learned, had assured EFCC when they were summoned last week that they would produce the original receipts which they reportedly obtained from Nkanga as acknowledgement for the N450 million but could not convince EFCC agents why the money was offloaded at Government House, if it was given to the former governor.
There was further confusion in the bank’s camp when the bullion van driver said that though he drove the money to Government House, he did not know who actually took custody of the money, as he was more concerned with offloading the cash than finding out the recipient.
There was strong indication last night that EFCC might be forced to subject the signatures said to have been signed by the former military governor to forensic analysis and use a Lie Detector to examine the bank officials, Nkanga and Umoren to be able to decipher the debacle over the money.