For the second day, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has returned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday for more interrogation, according to Thisday reports.
Senator Akpabio, who was allowed to go home at about 11 pm on Friday — after the anti-graft agency’s operatives questioned him for about five hours, was said to have arrived the EFCC’s corporate headquarters in Wuse 2, Abuja, at 11.45 am Saturday. He was again accompanied by his lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN) and some of his personal aides.
The EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujiaren confirmed Senator Akpabio’s return to the commission on Saturday but refused to speak further on the issue.
‘’Yes. He (Senator Akpabio) returned to EFCC on Saturday. He is still being interrogated, for now’’, the EFCC’s spokesman told THISDAY.
Thisday reports that as soon as the former governor arrived the commission’s office, some senior operatives of the EFCC excused his lawyer, Mr. Tarfa and his aides and took him to interrogation room. He might be detailed till Monday.
‘’Senator Akpabio might spend the day with us here, and it depends on his cooperation with us. He has many issues to clear with us’’, one of the EFCC’s operatives tsaid,
Although Senator Akpabio had said he was not arrested but honoured the anti-graft agency’s invitation, however, a senior official of the anti-graft agency was quoted by Thisday as saying the Senate Minority Leader was picked up by the agency’s operatives at about 5:30 pm Friday at his house in Abuja,
Mr. Tarfa, the lawyer to the former governor, said that his client was invited based on a written petition by ‘’an Abuja based legal practitioner.’’
An insider in EFCC revealed that the anti-corruption agency had started investigation into alleged stealing of N108.1billion of Akwa Ibom funds by Senator Akpabio in June this year – following a written petition by one Mr. Leo Ekpenyong, an Abuja based lawyer.
In the petition dated June 22, 2015, Mr. Ekpenyong had said that between January and December 2014, the ex-governor colluded with two of his personal aides to steal a huge sum of N108.1 billion from the state’s treasury.
According to him, “Between January –December 2014, it is on record that the trio of Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Etekamba Umoren and Mr. Udo Isobara, made illegal but substantial withdrawals of cash from a designated state government-owned account with Zenith Bank with account number: 1010375881 amounting to N22.1 billion’’.
“It is worthy of note that reasons for such ungodly cash withdrawals against financial regulations and due process laws range between sundry use and unjustifiable expenditures by Godswill Akpabio and his numerous surrogates and proxies.
“For example, a whopping N18 billion was withdrawn fraudulently from the state FAAC account with the United Bank for Africa in trenches of N10 million and above by Mr. Isobara in a surreptitious manner to conceal their dishonest intention.”
Under the period review, the petitioner added that the ex-governor also withdrew a huge sum of N18 billion from the state account under the guise of special services, reception of very important guests and sundry items.
He added, “The cumulative aggregate of these monies stolen by Godswill Akpabio from the coffers of government as pocket money is the annual budget of some states in Nigeria put together.”
Among the properties, which the petitioner claimed the ex-governor acquired through proxies include, a multi-billion naira mansion at Plot 5 Okogosi Spring Close, off Katsina-Ala Crescent, Maitama-Abuja, a multi-billion naira mansionette at Plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama, Abuja and another multi-billion naira mansion at 22 Probyn Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Others include a multi-billion naira property at Plot 23 Olusegun Aina Street, Parkview, Lagos; a multi-billion naira 25 storey building at Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and others.
However, Senator Akpabio had told journalists in Abuja that he is ‘’a law-abiding citizen, saying ‘’whenever I’m summoned to answer questions about how I served my people, I will always respond.’’
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