Akwa Ibom fails to stop ICPC’s investigation of state’s finances

Akwa Ibom on the Nigerian map

Justice Festus Ntong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene has declined an application to stop the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, or any other federal anti-corruption agency from investigating allegations of corruption involving the finances of the Government of Akwa Ibom State.

The Akwa Ibom State Attorney General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, had filed a suit before Justice Ntong, seeking the court to restrain ICPC or any other federal anti-corruption agency from investigating the government of the state for alleged corrupt practices without prior authorisation by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

The Akwa Ibom State Attorney General had argued in the suit that a federal agency would be acting beyond its powers if it investigated a matter involving an official or agency of the Akwa Ibom State Government.

He, therefore, joined the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the Akwa Ibom State Government as respondents in the matter because, in his opinion, they were not exercising their power and rights to prevent a federal agency from encroaching on their jurisdiction. Others joined as respondents in the suit included the Inspector General of Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and some banks.

Upon a preliminary objection filed by ICPC disputing the competence of the court to entertain any claim against the Federal Government or any of its agencies, the trial court ruled that the State High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain such a claim and therefore struck out the case.

It may be recalled that in a similar case brought before the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt by all the 23 local government councils of Rivers State in suit number FHC/PH/CS/432/2010, Justice Tijani Abubakar by a ruling dated May 31, 2012 dismissed the plaintiff’s claim and held that the issue of the constitutional authority of ICPC to investigate any person or authority in Nigeria for alleged corrupt practices had been decided with finality by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of Attorney General of Ondo State vs Attorney General of the Federation (2002).


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  • Kallah Bature

    No hiding place for thieves with the judiciary on the side of the helpless. May God assist our judges in resisting temptations.

    • kinsly

      Amen brother.

  • Daniel Henry

    Akpabio and his cohorts should face the music. Even the criminal sitting Governor who is on stolen mandate should be jailed because he served Akpabio “faithfully” in the last 6 months of Akpabio’s tenure. But in Nigeria, political criminals are celebrated while the young hungry thief that stole to satisfy his hunger is burnt to death. Crazy democracy!!

  • dan

    But if I may ask, what are they hidding ?