The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun the investigation of the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for the alleged looting of the state treasury up to the tune of N108.1 billion after an Abuja-based law firm filed a petition against the former governor, accusing him of money laundering perpetrated with utter disregard for financial regulations.
The firm, Leo Ekpenyong and Co. had on the 22nd of June, 2015, submitted a petition to the EFCC in which it called on the anti-corruption body and President Buhari to investigate Senator Akpabio thoroughly, alongside his partners-in-crime, Mr. Etekamba Umoren, former Permanent Secretary Government House and Mr. Udo Isobara, former Accountant General of the State. The firm also claim that it possesses powerful evidence that the trio have been involved in money laundering under various guises.
Mr. Akpabio, was inaugurated on June 9th as Senator, representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District after he previously served as Governor of the State from 2007-2015, a time when the state enjoyed great fortunes from oil.
According to the petition, between January and December of 2014, N22 billion was extracted from the Akwa Ibom State Government Account with Zenith Bank, Uyo. Their thievery was concealed by taking the money they stole and breaking it into N10 million clusters, which were then converted into housing and mortgage bonds that they will later spend on themselves.
Apart from fat bank accounts, the petition also indicates that the former governor also acquired choice mansions in juicy parts of the country which include:
- A multi-billion naira mansion at Plot 5 Ikogosi Spring close off Katsina Ala Crescent Maitama, Abuja
- A multi-billion naira mansion at plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama, Abuja
- A multi-billion naira Mansion at 22 Probyn Road, Ikoyi Lagos
- A multi-billion naira mansionette at plot 23 Olusegun Aina Street, Parkview Lagos
- A multi-billion naira 25 story building at Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, among others.
It was also revealed that the commissioning of the new Akwa Ibom International Stadium by former President Goodluck Jonathan, alongside the Presidents of Ghana and Ivory Coast, gulped a whopping N1 billion from the state treasury. This attracted an angry uproar by the people of the state, but again, nobody was probed.
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In a funny development, it was also learnt that the Senator has not left the Governor’s mansion of the State. Sources close to the current government have said that he has instead moved from the presidential suite of the lodge to the luxurious VIP suite, despite the fact he is no longer Governor of the State. This points to the reason he vehemently opposed the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ruling party of the state.
These developments come at a time when the former Governor is also being accused of gross abuse of public trust, embezzlement of public funds, financial recklessness, and laundering Akwa Ibom public funds for his own enrichment.
The EFCC and the Federal Government are being urged to bring Godswill Akpabio to justice “for [this] uncommon but unprecedented display of fraud and plunder of the resources of the good people of Akwa Ibom, who are crying for justice.”
Read full petition below:
In 2011, an angry indigene of the state, Ime T. Mbatessien in a letter addressed to the National Assembly on the 27th October, tried to bring to the knowledge of the House, the ‘ungodly’ act of corruption perpetuated by the Godswill Akpabio-led government. It said in parts:
“When Mr. President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in his maiden visit to Gombe state 2009, observed and remarked that the Governor of that State, Danjuma Goje was very prudent in the management of resources of that state. He openly announced that Federal Procurement Officers may be sent to learn from the State. Mr. President was particularly excited by the cost effectiveness on projects like the Airport and the Banquet Hall of the Government House. The Airport project was put at …… while the Banquet Hall consumed
N1.3 Billion Naira.
“Mr. President did not know that in Akwa Ibom State the Government House built at the cost of
N7.4 billion Naira in 2008 to 2009 also added a Banquet Hall in the 2010 Budget at cost of N10 billion Naira. Today, Akwa Ibom State Government House Complex is worth N17.4 billion Naira and must be the only of its kind in Africa.”
On the Akwa Ibom International Airport Project, which was re-awarded to Alcon Ltd. by Governor Akpabio, he said:
“There is need to explain the exact job the new outfit did for $150,000,000 in addition to the 80% contract value already paid for by immediate past administration in the State. More so, when the contractor on the runway has not been changed.
“Who owns the following companies, PROD GLOBAL LIMITED, CHINTO TECHNOLGIES LIMITED and OAK MOTORS? Please check also the date and the frequencies against each contract award on the enclosed table. The mind bugling revelations therein will be difficult to comprehend.
“The highlight shows that the Hon. Commissioner of Works and Transport awarded contract at alarming rate directly to himself and the operating companies are run by his elder brother. Information including bank accounts and the account officers in various banks have been made available to relevant agencies including the anti-graft agencies. Unfortunately, nothing came out of the exercise.”
It should be recalled that in 2014, Sahara Reporters reported that the former governor was named in the controversial possession of the citizenship passport of St. Kitts and Nevis, a tiny Caribbean nation known to be a hub of money laundering and illicit financial activities.