Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ex-Gov Akpabio faces prosecution for ‘mismanaging N3trn’

Untitled-2 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been petitioned to investigate the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, for allegedly misappropriating the sum of N3 trillion belonging to the state.
The petitioner, a lawyer, Mr. Leo Ekpenyong, in the five-page petition, dated June 8, 2015, and addressed to EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, also copied President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, alleged that Akwa Ibom received statutory allocations amounting to over N3 trillion during the eight years that Akpabio was in power, but the ex-governor spent it recklessly.
Ekpenyong also alleged that the amount was more than five times what all the five states of the South-east earned from the federation account within the same period.
He, therefore, urged the EFCC to probe the Akpabio administration, adding that the government’s “so-called uncommon transformation” programme was not commensurate with what was received.
Ekpenyong also alleged that the former governor’s administration had no respect for financial prudence and fiscal responsibility, as all transactions were shrouded in secrecy, “culminating in reckless financial mismanagement.”
The legal practitioner also accused Akpabio of running the financial affairs of the state without constitutional approval.
He also alleged that the Akpabio administration engaged in budgetary indiscipline, “whereby budgeting was shrouded in deceit and official cover-ups, as it refused to make known the budget’s actual performance.”
The petitioner further accused Akpabio of diversion of local government funds, particularly the pension funds which the governor allegedly diverted ostensibly for the building of the Specialist Hospital at Itam.
Ekpenyong also accused the ex-governor of using state funds for the acquisition of personal assets for himself and his family members.
Other assets of the ex-governor, he said, included a N1.4 billion mansion at Ewet Housing Estate; a N3 billion residential apartment at No. 22,  Probyn Road, Ikoyi; an over N6 billion new house under construction at Shelter Afrique Estate in Uyo.
Also owned by the Akpabio family, Ekpenyong added, is a N3.4 billion school owned by Mrs Unoma Akabio, his wife, located at Shelter Afrique in Uyo ; and a N4 billion country home owned by her located in her village.
Also accused in the petition is Emem Akpabio, the ex-governor’s relation, a middle level Shell Petroleum member of staff, who allegedly owns a housing estate estimated at N10.5 billion located in Ukana.