BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Senator Akpabio Over Fraud

BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Senator Akpabio Over Fraud

The Akwa Ibom state former governor who is currently the Senate minority leader in the 8th Senate, Godswill Akpabio, was at about 5pm on Friday, October 16, arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Premium Times reports.

BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Senator Akpabio Over Fraud

He was said to have been accompanied by a few aides and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ricky Tarfa.

However, the former governor's aide who is on the basis of anonymity that the senator is currently being interrogated by top officials of the EFCC.

A source at the EFCC confirmed the development of Senator Akpabio's arrest.

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He said: “He was brought in at about 5.20 pm accompanied by a few aides and Mr. Rickey Tarfa.

“It is not yet known whether he will be allowed to go this night. It depends on how the interrogation goes.”

There had been a petition forwarded to the ant-graft commission and President Muhammadu buhari in June by an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong, over an alleged theft of N108.1billion of Akwa Ibom funds where the senator was a governor.

As a result of the petition, the crimes commission had swung into action to investigate the matter.

According to Premium Times report, several other indigenes of the state who have been demanding the investigation of the former governor, were invited by the EFCC to adopt their petitions.

The invitation did not exclude Ekpenyong, the key petitioner as he too was summoned to adopt his claim.

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The lawyer disclosed that between January and December 2014, the ex-governor colluded with the former government house permanent secretary, Etekamba Umoren, and the former accountant general of the state to steal a whopping N108.1 billion from the state’s treasury.

He said in the petition: “Between January – December 2014, it is on record that the trio of Godswill Akpabio, Mr Etekamba Umoren and Mr Udo Isobara, made illegal but substantial withdrawals of cash from a designated state government-owned account with Zenith Bank with account number: 1010375881 amounting to N22.1 billion.

“It is worthy of note that reasons for such ungodly cash withdrawals against financial regulations and due process laws range between sundry use and unjustifiable expenditures by Godswill Akpabio and his numerous surrogates and proxies.

“For example, a whopping N18 billion was withdrawn fraudulently from the state FAAC account with the United Bank for Africa in trenches of N10 million and above by Mr Isobara in a surreptitious manner to conceal their dishonest intention.”

Ekpenyong accused Umoren of having been rewarded with an appointment as government house chief of staff and now secretary to the state government under Udom Emmanuel’s administration owing to his assistance in the alleged stealing.

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The legal luminary also accused the former governor of several other fraudulent practices ranging from another withdrawal of N18 billion to the acquisition of a multi-billion naira mansion at Plot 5 Okogosi Spring Close, off Katsina-Ala Crescent, Maitama-Abuja, a multi-billion naira mansionette at Plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama, Abuja and another multi-billion naira mansion at 22 Probyn Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

However, the commissioner of information during the Akpabio’s administration, Aniekan Umana, described the contents of the petition by Mr. Ekpenyong as falsehood taken too far.

Noting that the petition betrayed a lack of understanding of the workings of government, the former commissioner said: “Every sum withdrawn from a government account is tied to a subhead and there must be a budgetary provision. To attribute fraud to withdrawals which had the full sanction of government and was accommodated in the budget is strange, mischievous and untenable. More so, when one understands that there are checks and balances which guide all aspects of government financial administration.”


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