N10 billion fraud allegation: IGP orders probe of Udom’s appointee

N10 billion fraud allegation: IGP orders probe of Udom’s appointee

- The inspector general of Police has been petitioned over a N10 billion fraud allegation against a member of the Akwa-Ibom state Board of Internal Revenue Service

- The petition appealed to the IGP to as a matter of urgency wade into the matter to recover the properties confiscated by Ekere Afia

- Responding to the petition, the IGP directed the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) to immediately commence investigation into the matter

The inspector general of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered an investigation into the N10 billion fraud allegation against a member of the Akwa-Ibom state Board of Internal Revenue Service, Ekere Afia.

Afia has been indicted for allegedly forging documents that terminate Federal Project cited in 10.60 hectares of land allocated by the state government for the establishment of Agro based export development project at Ibiaku Issie community in Uruan local government area of Akwa Ibom state.

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The N10 billion federal government project titled ‘’Community Based Aquaculture Development Project’’ if completed is expected to engender foreign direct investment and create job opportunity for about 5000 teeming unemployed youths in the state. 

The project according to the notice of revocation of right of occupancy no: TP/AK/UR/06 though revoked for overriding public interest, was challenged by Afia who allegedly converted the federal government properties including the buildings, generators, solar lighting into his personal use.

The action by Afia has also generated battle and act capable of causing break down of law and order in the communities.

Also reports says the project, which was designed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources through the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) sailed through implementation stage since 2010 and initially funded with about N500 million Naira, had the capacity to employ a minimum of five thousand people if completed.

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The project sought to gather all species from fishing communities of Akwa-Ibom and other neighboring states for specialized preservation and bulk exportation.

However, no, sooner than the project was approved in 2012, Afia allegedly asked the FG to withdraw from the site, forged documents and converted the site into personal use.

Afia who stopped the continuation of the project further took the government to court to legally claim the land alleging that he bought it from the people of the community.

The development however did not go down well with the people of the communities leading to series of petitions to the IGP demanding for investigation into the matter.

The head of Ibiaku Issiet, Uruan local government area of the state, William Etim, through his lawyer, Taiwo Abe, in a petition to the IGP said that the acquisition was duly gazette and published on the papers.  

He called on the IGP to as a matter of urgency wade into the matter to recover the properties confiscated by Afia, adding that the project if realized will be beneficial to the people of the communities and beyond.

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The  IGP who responded to the  petition directed the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) to immediately commence investigation into the matter.

In a letter addressed to the deputy inspector general of Police with Ref no: 700/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.453/830 and  the titled : Re: ‘’stealing, malicious damage to properties of the federal government and fraudulent conversion of government properties to personal use, conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace by Ekere Afia’’, the IGP assured that the matter would be diligently looked into.

In a swift response, the Akwa Ibom Police Command had on Thursday, August 22, arraigned Afia before the Magistrate Court , Uyo division over a case of forgery.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a retired executive director of Kwara state harmony holdings, Adebayo Sanni, was arrested by the EFCC for questioning.

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The director was arrested alongside a Naval commander over their alleged involvement in fraudulent acquisition of some property belonging to Kwara state government.

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