NACAT asks EFCC to probe Godswill Akpabio over alleged multi-billion naira fraud

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A coalition of Civil Society Groups under the umbrella of the Network Against Corruption and Trafficking (NACAT) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate Godswill Akpabio, former Akwa Ibom State Governor, over corruption allegation during his tenure as governor of the state.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, Justice Ojefia, Executive Director Legal of NACAT; Sampson Tega, Executive Director, Investigation, and Stanley Ugagbe, its Operational Manager, alleged that the fortunes of Akwa-Ibom people were mortgaged for personal aggrandizement under Senator Akpobio as governor.

The group warned against electing the former governor as president of the 10th Senate, wondering why the All Progressives Congress (APC) which accuses the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of embezzling the country’s resources for 16 years, would turn around to anoint one of the alleged architects of the embezzlement as senate president.

Akpabio who is the preferred choice of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Senate Presidency has been under investigation by the EFCC since he left office as Governor in 2015.

The group recalled that barely months after leaving office, the EFCC invited him over allegations bothering on misappropriation of funds of the Akwa-Ibom State Treasury.

“It is no news that for eight years, the good fortunes of Akwa-Ibom people were mortgaged for personal aggrandizement when Senator Godswill Akpobio reigned supreme as Governor between 2007 to 2011,” the group said.

“Barely months after leaving office, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), were quick to pounce on him over allegations bothering on wanton looting of the Akwa-Ibom State Treasury to the tune of over 100 Billion Naira.

“While the investigations and prosecution are still on, the civil society has not rested on its oars in its bid to ensure that corruption is nipped in the bud and that every penny of Akwa-Ibom Tax payers money are properly accounted for.

“It is on this note that the coalition of civil societies led by the Network Against Corruption and Trafficking, NACAT, embarked on an comprehensive investigations of the Akwa-Ibom State Government Account between 2011-2015.

“NACAT through these discovered financial infractions and irregularities ranging from circumvention of procurement processes, suspicious payments of monies, possible money laundering, to award of contracts to non-existent Shell Companies.

“These financial manipulations have cost the good people of Akwa-Ibom State, money amounting to over 700 billion Naira, under the watch of Senator Godswill Akpabio.

“The questions begging for answers are: How will the All Progressives Congress (APC) accuse the PDP government of wasting 16 years of our nationhood and still reward a PDP-man in Mr. Godswill Akpabio who’s part of the destruction of Nigeria and only joined APC 6 years ago? It is akin to give a PDP member the number three position in the land and saying that APC lied against PDP destroying Nigeria.

“To make Akpabio a Senate President is a reward for monumental corruption orchestrated in AkwaIbom and Ministry of Niger Delta/NDDC. Akpabio as Governor looted over N1 trillion of AkwaIbom State treasury and over N200 billion NDDC funds as a minister.

“How will Akpabio be allowed to preside over the same Senate when he accused the entire Senators as being behind the corruption in NDDC during the NDDC probe?

“Giving Akpabio Senate President mandate is to whittle down the fight against corruption as he will enact laws that will weaken the EFCC and ICPC since he has cases with them.

“The nation is dominant of three tribes, namely Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. It is nationally irresponsible to deny the Igbos the number three position in the land whether they bring votes or not, when they have ranking Senators of APC extraction who have not been tainted with corruption.”

The group accused Akpabio of, among other things, circumventing procurement procedures in the award of contracts, award of contracts to shell companies, and money laundering in with transactions carried out in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as proof.

On alleged bypassing of procurement procedures, the group noted that its findings revealed that in 2011, “Friday Etuk received a total of N25,043,211 (Twenty Five Million, Forty-Three Thousand. Two Hundred and Eleven) from the AKSG SUB- TREASURY MKPAT ENIN from the First bank account number 2006071033.”

It continued,” Findings revealed that AUGUSTINE WOKOCHA who was the former Commissioner of Power, River State received a total of N25,000,000 (Twenty Five Million Naira) from the AKWA IBOM INV. & IND. PROM. COUNCIL from the Zenith Bank account number 6013704517.

“Findings revealed that DR AKPANIM NTEKIM E received a total of N13,404,503 (Thirteen Million, Four Hundred and Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Three Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT. from the UBA account number with no account number.

“Findings revealed out that MR CHRISTOPHER AKAN received a total of N14,804,937 (Fourteen Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirteen-Seven Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT. from the UBA account number with no account number.”

“Findings revealed that MRS MFONG EKONG EBIENANG received a total of N15,049,312 (Fifteen Million, Fourteen Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Twelve Thousand) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT. from the UBA account number with no account number.

“Findings revealed that IYANG JACOB received a total of N25,867,526 (Twenty Five Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty-Six Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT. from the UBA account number 1001083568.

“Findings revealed that EBONG SUNDAY UDO received a total of N13, 019,710 (Thirteen Million, Nineteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ten Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT. from the UBA account number 1001083568.

“Findings revealed that FAUB ENIGMA LTD received a total of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE JUDICIARY from the First Bank account number 2012207110.

“Findings revealed that SUNDAY JONES AKPAN received a total of N59,835,500 (Fifty-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand, Five Hundred Naira from the AKWA IBOM STATE JUDICIARY from the First Bank account number 2012207110.

On alleged award of contract to shell companies, the group said its findings revealed that “VETUS NIGERIA VENTURES received a total of N22,322,331 (Twenty-Two Million, Three Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-One) from OFFICE OF STATE SURV. GEN – PROJECT Account from the Zenith bank account number 6115202036.

“Checks on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website showed that the companies are not registered nor do they exist on other platforms that show the existence of companies hence ineligible to be awarded contracts.”

It disclosed further that, “Our investigation found out that BLUE CURRENT NIG ENTERPRISE received N500,3990,900 (Five Hundred Million, Three Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand Nine Hundred Naira) from the OFFICE OF THE SECT TO THE STATE GOVT account from the UBA account number 1015319792.

“Checks on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website showed that the companies are not registered nor do they exist on other platforms that show the existence of companies hence ineligible to be awarded contracts.”

“TESANTO NIGERIA LIMITED received N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) from the GOVERNMENT HOUSE UYO account from the Zenith bank 1010375881.

“Checks on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website showed that the companies are not registered nor do they exist on other platforms that show the existence of companies hence ineligible to be awarded contracts.”

Also raising the issue of possible money laundering, the group disclosed that, “WALLNET BUSINESS SERVICE LTD received a total of N1,197,195,422 (One Billion One Hundred and Ninety Seventy One Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Two Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT account number 0009987286 domiciled in Diamond Bank Plc. The sum was paid in a single day dated 2011/09/01 in one tranche.

“Findings showed that the company which belongs to Obi Emeribe was floated in July 2007 barely two months after the swearing in of Godswill Akpabio as Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

“It was found that the company which had only being in existence for barely three years without any proven track record of technical knowhow was paid a whopping N1.2billion without specification of the purpose of the payment contrary to Part IV Section 16(6) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 which requires that companies eligible for contract award should possess the necessary professional and technical qualifications, financial capability, equipment and other relevant infrastructure etc’.

“Investigation showed that the company is a marketing company hence should have no business with the government of Akwa State (UNLESS SPECIFIED) as they not involved in the business of buying and selling.”

Continuing, the group listed findings of its investigations on transactions carried from 2012 to 2014 as follows:

AKWA IBOM STATE 2012 fact findings
LIssue 1: CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE

One AFFIONG UKPONG received a total of N2,090,000,000 (Two Billion, Ninety Million Naira) in trenches of N10,000,000 from the OFFICE OF THE SECT TO THE STATE GOVT UBA Bank account, OFFICE OF THE SSG. AKS Zenith Bank account number 1010638395 and OFFICE OF THE SSG ACCT. 11 Zenith Bank account number 1010642864.

One ASUQUO A USANGA received a total cheque of N980,000,000 ( Nine Hundred and Eighty Million Naira) in trenches of N10,000,000 with the highest amount of N170,000,000 in a day (2012/02/16) from Government House Uyo Zenith Bank account number 1010375881.

One CHARLES UDOEBUK received a total of N17,421,451,623 (Seventeen Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty One, Four Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Three Naira) in trenches of N10,000,000 up to 60 times giving a total of N600,000,000 in a day (2012/10/12) from Government House Uyo UBA Bank account and Zenith Bank account number 1010642864.

CHARLES MFON received a total N117,283,627 (One Hundred and Seventeen Million, Two Hundred and Eighty Three, Six Hundred and Twenty Seven Naira) from Government House Uyo UBA Bank account.

Issue 2: AWARD OF CONTRACT TO SHELL COMPANIES (NON EXISTENT)

MEMADAH VENTURES received a total of N102,950,000 ( One Hundred and Two Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) from OFFICE OF THE SSG ACCT. 11 Zenith account number 1010642864.

Issue 3: AWARD OF CONTRACT TO SHELL COMPANIES (NON EXISTENT)
SURCOMTEC LIMITED received a total of N13,230,000 ( Thirteen Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira) from Government House Uyo Zenith Bank account number 1010375881.
It was also found that SURCOMTEC LIMITED has an online presence but could not be found on the CAC public search website.

Issue 4: AWARD OF CONTRACT TO SHELL COMPANIES (NON EXISTENT)
TESANTO NIGERIA LIMITED received a total of N67,500,000 ( Sixty Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) from Government House Uyo Zenith Bank account number 1010375881.

Issue 6: CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE
OBONG CHRIS EKPENYONG received a total of N20,209,324 (Twenty Million, Two Hundred and Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Four) from Government House Uyo UBA and Zenith Bank account number 1010375881.

It was found that OBONG CHRIS EKPENYONG was the former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State from 1999 to 2005 and current Senator.

No transaction description was attached to the payment made to ascertain the purpose of the funds contrary to Financial Regulation 603 which states “All vouchers shall contain full particulars of each service such as dates, numbers, quantities, distances and rates….and will invariably be supported by relevant documents such as LPOs, invoices, special letters of authority, time sheets, rates etc.”

AKWA IBOM STATE ACCOUNT 2013 fact findings
Issue 1: CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE

SUNDAY JONES AKPAN the CHIEF REGISTRAR of AKWA IBOM STATE received a total of N 923,849,800 (Nine Hundred and twenty three Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE JUDICIARY first bank account number 2012207110.

More so, no transaction description was attached to the payment which contravenes Financial Regulation 603 which states “All vouchers shall contain full particulars of each service such as dates, numbers, quantities, distances and rates…. and will invariably be supported by relevant documents such as LPOs, invoices, special letters of authority, time sheets, rates etc.”.

Issue 2: CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE

CHARLES UDOEBUK withdrew a total of N5,300,000,000 (Five Billion, Three Hundred Thousand Naira) from GOVERNMENT HOUSE – UYO Eco bank account number 0272006697 and Zenith bank account number 1010375881 and also from the GOVERNMENT HOUSE IMPREST ACCOUNT Eco bank account number 0303001693.

ASUQUO A USANGA withdrew a total of N120,000,000 (One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira) from the GOVERNMENT HOUSE – UYO Zenith bank account

More so, no transaction description was attached to the payment which contravenes Financial Regulation 603 which states “All vouchers shall contain full particulars of each service such as dates, numbers, quantities, distances and rates…. and will invariably be supported by relevant documents such as LPOs, invoices, special letters of authority, time sheets, rates etc.”.

AKWA IBOM 2014 fact findings
Issue 1: CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE

One MFON-ISO ABASI received N17,710,152 (Seventeen Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Two Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT ACCOUNT from the Skye bank account number 1750038955.

MR FRIDAY EKPEYONG received N58,122,414 (Fifty-Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Four Naira) in a day on 9/11/2014 from the Akwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank Account Number 2010780101.

NSEOBONG FRIDAY UDOIKONO received N35,500,127 (Thirty-Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty-Seven Naira) in a day on 9/9/2014 from the Akwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank Account Number 2010780101.

MR NSE UKPONG ENANG received N47,750,999 (Forty-Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety- Nine Naira) in a day on 9/17/2014 from theAkwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank Account Number 2010780101.

MR OKON ASUQUO MATHEW received N51,903,259 (Fifty-One Million, Nine Hundred and Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty-Nine Naira) in a day on 9/12/2014 from theAkwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank Account Number 2010780101.

MRS INIOBONG JOSHUA LAZAR received N51,095,972 (Fifty-One Million, Ninety-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira) in a day on 9/8/2014 fromtheAkwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank Account Number 2010780101.

MRS MARY UKOETTE received N35,480,780 (Thirty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighty Naira) in a day on 9/30/2014 from the Akwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank Account Number 2010780101.

MRS NSE UMOH received N51,903,259 (Fifty-One Million, Nine Hundred and Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Nine Naira) in a day on 9/11/2014 from the Akwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank account number 2010780101.

MRS AGNES MARCEL IBA received N50,540,178 (Fifty Million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand, One Hundred and Seventy-Eight Naira) in a day on 9/26/2014 from the Akwa Ibom State Government Revenue Account from the First Bank account number 2010780101.
More so, no transaction description was attached to any of the withdrawals and payments contrary to Financial Regulation 603 which states “All vouchers shall contain full particulars of each service such as dates, numbers, quantities, distances and rates….and will invariably be supported by relevant documents such as LPOs, invoices, special letters of authority, time sheets, rates etc.”

Issue 2: AWARD OF CONTRACT TO SHELL COMPANIES (NON EXISTENT)
HEMI VENTURES received N24,277,272 (Twenty Four Million, Two Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira) from the AKWA IBOM STATE GOVT ACCOUNT from the Skye bank account number 1750038955.

Checks on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website showed that the companies are not registered nor do they exist on other platforms that show the existence of companies hence ineligible to be awarded contracts.

Issue 3: AWARD OF CONTRACT TO SHELL COMPANIES (NON-EXISTENT)

Findings revealed that on 21/1/2014, DOM COMMUNICATION LIMITED received a total of N15,000,000 (Fifteen Million Naira) from the Government House Uyo account number 1010375881 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc.

Checks on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website showed that the companies are not registered nor do they exist on other platforms that show the existence of companies hence ineligible to be awarded contracts.

Issue 4: CIRCUMVENTION OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE

CHARLES M UDOEBUK who is the Permanent Secretary of the Akwa Ibom State Government House received a total of N3,540,000,000 (Three Billion, Five Hundred and Forty Million Naira) from the Government House Uyo Zenith Bank account number 1010375881.

Findings showed that on 1/7/2014, Charles Udoebuk withdrew a total of N190,000,000 in tranches of N10,000,000 nineteen times in a single day.
Seven days later precisely on 1/14/2014, Udoebuk moved another total of N150,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) from the same account fifteen times in a single day.

This was followed by a withdrawal of N170,000,000 on 1/21/2014 from the same account seventeen times in a day 1/28/2014 saw another N120,000,000 moved from the account,

On 2/3/2014 he received N540,000,000 (Five Hundred and Forty Million Naira) withdrawn in tranches of N10,000,000 fifty four times in a single day apparently following the orders of Godswill Akpabio.

On 11/13/2014 Charles moved N390,000,000 in tranches of N10,000,000 fifty four times in a single day apparently following the orders of Godswill Akpabio.

More so, on 2/11/2014 he withdrew N300,000,000, another N270,000,000 on 12/3/2014, 2/24/2014 withdrawn on N300,000,000, 3/2/2014 N430,000,000, 3/10/2014 he received N100,000,000, 3/18/2014 another N300,000,000 amongst others.

No transaction description was attached to any of the withdrawals and payments contrary to Financial Regulation 603 which states “All vouchers shall contain full particulars of each service such as dates, numbers, quantities, distances and rates….and will invariably be supported by relevant documents such as LPOs, invoices, special letters of authority, time sheets, rates etc.”

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