- A report suggesting Senator Godswill Akpabio offered a bribe to Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa has been debunked
- A spokesman to the minister of Niger Delta affairs denied the report and gave reasons why Akapbnio visited the EFCC boss
- According to the minister's media aide, the meeting between the duo centred around the NDDC
Senator Godswill Akpabio, the minister of Niger Delta affairs, has denied a report claiming that he offered a bribe worth $350,000 (over N130million) to the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abudulrasheed Bawa.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Saturday, April 24 by his chief press secretary, Anietie Ekong, Akpabio said he has no reason to offer a bribe to Bawa.
The minister also stated that his recent visit to the EFCC was not for questioning but to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from oil and gas companies in the custody of the EFCC.
Ekong stated that the suggestions that the minister was detained by the anti-graft commission were false and an attempt to cast him in a bad light.
Part of the statement read:
“On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Senator Akpabio through a telephone call sought an audience with the new chairman of the EFCC to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the NDDC in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from oil and gas companies in the custody of the EFCC.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had since December 2020 approved the transfer of monies earlier paid by international oil companies into the CBN/EFCC account now to be transferred to the CBN/NDDC account.
“The distinguished chairman granted the request for 10.00am but due to other exigencies, the honourable minister requested for a change of time to 11.30am whereupon the chairman amended the request to 12noon due to his busy schedule.
“The two senior officials met and had a robust discussion and the Honourable Minister received very intelligent and useful input from the EFCC chairman, Abdulrashed Bawa on the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.
“However, the discussion was inconclusive since the minister needed to attend a security meeting with select south-south/southeast leaders and governors in the Office of the National Security Adviser then slated for 1.30pm of the same day.
“Both officials resolved to reconvene same day by 5.00pm to conclude their interactions. The honourable minister returned to the office of the EFCC chairman at about 5.45pm and departed thereafter at about 6.20pm after very resourceful deliberations.”
The statement noted that Akpabio could not have carried $350,000 into the office of the EFCC chairman as he went there without a bag or a container.
Ekong further dismissed insinuations that the meeting between the duo was arranged by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Meanwhile, the ward executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ukana West 2 have unanimously passed a vote of confidence on President Buhari, Senator Akpabio, and other leaders of the party.
Earlier, the party leaders in Akwa Ibom had declared Akpabio as the authentic leader of the party in the state.
The affirmation was contained in a communiqué signed on behalf of other stakeholders by the former military administrator of Ogun and Rivers states and national caucus member of the party, Group Capt. Sam Enwang (rtd).
Meanwhile, the deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, has declared that the court has finally vindicated Akpabio and the ruling party having handed three years jailed term to Professor Peter Ogban.
Nabena said the Peoples Democratic Party elements who made use of the UNICAL professor to rig out the APC's candidate at the said election should now bury their heads in shame.
According to Nabena, the senatorial election was fraudulently postponed by the returning officer against the wish of the APC and its candidate, and all the complaints made by Senator Akpabio and the APC were not given attention.