Senator Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, has reacted to the Network Against Corruption and Trafficking’s demand for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC) to investigate his financial transactions. Akpabio emphasized that an investigation does not equate to a conviction. Let’s delve into his response and the allegations against him, shedding light on the need for a thorough examination of the claims.
After leaving office in 2015, Senator Godswill Akpabio faced questioning by the EFCC as part of an ongoing probe. Recently, the Network Against Corruption and Trafficking submitted a petition to the EFCC, urging further investigation into alleged suspicious financial dealings during Akpabio’s tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom State. In response, Akpabio’s chief press secretary, Jackson Udom, emphasized the distinction between investigation and conviction, stating that every public officer can be subject to investigation even after leaving office.
One of the major allegations against Akpabio involves the awarding of contracts to shell companies that do not exist. The group highlighted that one of the companies received a significant amount of N500,399,900 from the office of the secretary to the state government, as recorded in a commercial bank. However, checks conducted on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website and other platforms revealed that these companies are not registered and thus ineligible for contract awards.
Another allegation raised by the group is related to a company that received N1,197,195,422 from the Akwa Ibom State government account held in a commercial bank. This substantial sum was paid in a single day, specifically on September 1, 2011. The group questioned why a company established just two months after Akpabio assumed office as governor would receive such a substantial payment without any specification of the purpose, which contradicts the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Furthermore, the group discovered that N12,843,645,925 was withdrawn from the Government House, Uyo account and transferred to an individual who made 14 withdrawals totaling N10,000,000 in a single day (June 1, 2011), amounting to N140,000,000. Additionally, on August 3, 2011, N10,000,000 was withdrawn in 24 tranches, totaling N240,000,000. The group raised concerns about these transactions and emphasized the need for a comprehensive investigation into the allegations.
Senator Godswill Akpabio has responded to the call for a fresh probe into his financial transactions during his tenure as governor. While investigation does not imply guilt, the Network Against Corruption and Trafficking has highlighted specific instances of alleged financial irregularities. These accusations warrant a thorough examination to establish the truth. The EFCC and ICPC should consider the gravity of the allegations and conduct a comprehensive investigation to ensure transparency, accountability, and justice.