The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has written to a “new-generation” bank to explain the N1.4 billion gift it received from Godswill Akpabio, former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State.
An EFCC source who pleaded anonymity told the Punch that the so-called gift was given in three tranches in 2013 by Akpabio, who is now the Senate Minority Leader, during his time as Governor.
“Among several allegations (against Akpabio) that are already in the public domain, the commission has made some progress in investigating the circumstances in which Apkabio, in 2013, paid N566, 883,728.66; N441,808,081.90; and N392, 631,943.37 as gifts to a new generation bank,” the source said.
However, the Akwa Ibom State Government, instead of cooperate with the EFCC, instituted a court case against the commission, saying that it has no powers to investigate state affairs.
The source told reporters that the Akwa Ibom state government had ignored several requests by the EFCC to release some officials of the government as part of the investigations into the activities of the Akpabio-administration.
“On March 7, 2017, the commission wrote to the Secretary to the State Government, asking for the release of Mr. Effiong Efiakedoho, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Special Duties, to appear before the EFCC on March 13,” the source said.
“He was summoned specifically in respect of matters relating to a hotel, Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, Raffia City Plaza, A 342 Highway. There was no response.
“On May 8, 2017, a letter, requesting the Accountant General of the state to appear at the EFCC on May 18, was also ignored.
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“The Accountant General was specifically summoned in respect of an aspect of the investigation relating to a company, Sindeng Nigeria Limited.
“The Commissioner for Works was also invited through a letter of May 19, 2017 and asked to report to the commission’s zonal office in Port Harcourt with respect to a road construction contract awarded to Nigturks Civil Technologies Limited. He too failed to honour the invitation.
“A May 26, 2017 letter to the Secretary to the State Government to release the Accountant General of the state for interrogation on June 5, on the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, was also ignored.”
Uwemedimo Nwoko, Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, wrote a letter to the EFCC on June 28, informing the commission that the state has gone to court to challenge the powers of the EFCC to investigate States.
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Nwoko asked the commission to wait until the case has been determined before taking further action.
When contacted by reporters, Anietie Ekong, Akpabio’s media aide, said his boss would not want to comment on the issue since the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State had already clarified it.
“We are aware of the issue because someone else called earlier to confirm the allegation. The Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State has responded to the matter and we are not ready to take the issue with anybody,” Ekong said.