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May 24, 2023

CSOs seek Akpabio’s probe over alleged N1trn fraud

NDDC Board: South-south elders back Akpabio

Akapbio

Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Network Against Corruption And Trafficking (NACAT), have urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Sen. Godswill Akpabio over alleged financial impropriety.

The group made the call at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Justice Ojefia, Executive Director, Legal, NACAT cited an audit report of Akwa Ibom State treasury between 2011 and 2015, which he accused Akpabio of financial infractions amounting to N1trillion naira while serving as governor.

According to Ojeifa, the financial infractions and irregularities range from circumvention of procurement processes, suspicious payments of monies, possible money laundering to award of contracts to non-existent Shell Companies.

“These financial manipulations have cost the good people of Akwa-Ibom State, money amounting to over N700 billion, under the watch of Akpabio.

“To make Akpabio a Senate President is a reward for monumental corruption orchestrated in Akwa Ibom and Ministry of Niger Delta and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“Akpabio as governor looted over N1 trillion of Akwa Ibom State treasury and over N200 billion NDDC funds as a minister.

“How will Akpabio be allowed to preside over the same Senate when he accused the entire Senators as being behind the corruption in NDDC during the NDDC probe?

He said that giving Akpabio Senate President mandate is to whittle down the fight against corruption.

“He will enact laws that will weaken the EFCC and ICPC since he has cases with them,’’ Ojefia said.

In his reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Akpabio, Mr Jackson Udom refuted the allegation which he described as blackmail.

According to Udom, every public officer could be investigated after leaving office.

“Investigation is no conviction. Every public officer could be investigated after leaving office and that is the right thing to do.

“Sen. Akpabio left office eight years ago after a meritorious service to Akwa Ibom and his legacies and performance as the state governor from 2007-2015, are still visible in the state.

“The question then is, why this letter to the EFCC now? Why all these blackmail and lies now? The answer is not far-fetched.

“Akpabio wants to be Senate President, he remains the candidate to beat and he must be brought down at all costs by those who can’t match his acceptance by his colleagues.

“His colleagues in the Stability Group are working round the clock to make him the Senate President of the 10th Senate, through the support of their colleagues across party lines.

“Their major concern is to give stability to the President-elect’s administration when it comes on stream on May 29, 2023,’’ Udom said.