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Saturday , 18 November 2017

EFCC closes in on Akpabio over alleged N108bn fraud, seizes wife’s school

The immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, who is now the Senate Minority Leader,has been accused of alleged N108bn fraud during his tenure from 2007 to 2015.,…and the commission had said ‘“We have traced some houses to the former governor in Lagos and Abuja and it is just a matter of time before we seize them.”

Now,a school allegedly belonging to Unoma Akpabio, the wife of the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has been seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 The school, St. John Paul II School, in Shelter Afrique, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, had been marked “under investigation by EFCC.” The commission resorted to marking the school instead of shutting it so that innocent parents and students who had paid school fees would not be adversely affected

Although normal academic activities were still ongoing in the school as of Wednesday, a police van had been stationed outside the gate.

EFCC is intensifying investigation into the former governor and planning to seize his properties and freeze accounts linked to him.

The EFCC had written five banks demanding information on Akwa Ibom State finances under Akpabio’s administration.

The commission also invited key members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and serving commissioners many of whom served during the ex-governor’s administration.

A source at the EFCC said, “We have written to Zenith Bank, Keystone Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, and UBA demanding information on the state’s accounts. We are also inviting the accountant-general, the auditor-general, the Speaker and the clerk of the House of Assembly.

The EFCC had started looking into Akpabio last year when he was first quizzed by detectives following a series of petitions written against him.

Akpabio, who is now the Senate Minority Leader, was accused of embezzling public funds while he was governor of the oil-rich state.

He was accused of lavish spending such that on March 2013, he openly gave N1m each to the six chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party from the South-South geopolitical zone who had converged on Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session and told them to use the money to ‘buy Mr. Biggs’

As the commission was investigating the ex-governor, the Akwa Ibom State Government, headed to a state High Court to get an interim order barring the EFCC from investigating his administration.

The Justice Ntong Ntong-led court on July 15, 2016, granted an interim injunction, restraining the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; and the Inspector-General of Police from investigating the finances of the Akwa Ibom State Government.

The suit was filed on behalf of the state government by the state Attorney General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, who also served under Akpabio and is believed to be loyal to the former governor.

 

 

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