N108bn fraud : EFCC keeps mum on Akpabio probe


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Tobi Aworinde, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has refused to comment on the case of alleged fraud involving a former governor of Akwa Ibom State , Godswill Akpabio.

Akpabio first came under investigation in 2015 following accusations that he diverted over N100 bn from the oil -rich state between 2007 and 2015 , an allegation which he has denied .
According to an interim report by the EFCC, the former governor allegedly gave a bank N 1 .4bn for unknown reasons .

A school , St . John Paul II School, in Shelter Afrique , Uyo , Akwa Ibom State , allegedly belonging to Unoma , Akpabio’s wife , was subsequently seized by the EFCC in 2017 .
When contacted last week , however , the EFCC’s acting Head , Media , and Publicity , Mr Tony Orilade, said he would find out if the matter was still under investigation and respond accordingly .

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He said , “I have not been able to find out from the relevant officer . Please , can you give me till tomorrow ( Tuesday )?”
When he was contacted again after Akpabio was nominated as a minister , he said there was nothing to comment about .

Akpabio was alleged to have in 2013 paid N566 , 883 , 728 .66 , N 441 , 808 ,081 . 90 and N392 , 631 ,943 .37 as gifts to a new generation bank .
The investigation is being handled by the Counter- Terrorism and General Investigation Section of the anti- graft agency .
The allegations against Akpabio border on the award of bogus contracts to cronies who used the proceeds to buy several properties in Lagos and Abuja .

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The allegations include the alleged withdrawal of N 18 bn fraudulently from the state ’s Federal Accounts Allocation Committee in tranches of N 10 m and above in a surreptitious manner to conceal their dishonest intention; spending of over N 50 bn state funds by the former governor during the last general elections ; and alleged withdrawal of N18 bn from the state ’s coffers under the guise of special services , reception of very important guests and sundry items .

The ex- governor is also under probe for allegedly acquiring of some assets through surrogates , including a multi -billion naira mansion at Plot 5 , Ikogosi Spring Close, off Katsina – Ala Crescent , Maitama -Abuja ; a multi- billion naira mansion at Plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama , Abuja ; 22 Probyn Road , Ikoyi , Lagos ; Plot 23 Olusegun Aina Street , Parkview , Lagos and a multi -billion naira 25 -storey building at Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island , Lagos .

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