CSO asks EFCC, ICPC to investigate Akpabio’s tenure as A’Ibom governor
• Allegation meant to scuttle my Senate Presidency ambition, says ex-gov
Network Against Corruption and Human Trafficking (NACAT) has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), asking that the former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, be investigated over corruption allegation during his tenure as governor of the state.
The civil society organisation, which accused the former governor of mismanagement of funds, alleged that the fortunes of Akwa-Ibom people were mortgaged for personal gains under the ex-governor.
The allegation is coming few days to inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, with the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs as one of the front-runners for the Senate Presidency.
Akpabio, who is the preferred candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) for the Senate Presidency, has been under investigation by the EFCC since he left office as governor in 2015.
Led by its Executive Director of Investigation, Samson Tega, and its Operational Manager, Stanley Ugabe, the group, during a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said Akpabio is not fit to be Senate President, considering the allegation against him.
When contacted, Chief Press Secretary to Akpabio, Jackson Udom, described the development as a witch-hunt meant to scuttle the Senate Presidency ambition of the former governor.
Udom said: “Investigation is not conviction. Every public officer could be investigated after leaving office, and that is the right thing to do. Akpabio left office eight years ago after meritorious service to the state, and his legacies and performance from 2007 to 2015 are still visible in all nooks and crannies of the state.
“The question is, why this letter to the EFCC now? Why all these blackmail and lies? The answer is not far fetched. Akpabio wants to be Senate President; he remains the candidate to beat, and those who can’t match his acceptance by his colleagues want to bring him down at all cost.
“His colleagues in the Stability Group are working round the clock to make him President of the 10th Senate through the support of their colleagues across party lines. Their major concern is to give stability to the President-elect’s administration when it comes on stream on May 29.”
But Tega recalled that months after leaving office, the EFCC invited Akpabio over allegations on misappropriation of funds belonging to the state.
According to him, while investigations and prosecution are still on, the civil society has not rested on its oars in ensuring that corruption is nipped in the bud, and that every penny of Akwa-Ibom tax payers are properly accounted for.
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