Protesters on Monday stormed the zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Wuse 2, Abuja, demanding the probe of a former Akwa-Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio.
The protesters under the aegis of Civil Society Groups for Accountability and Probity requested an investigation to be launched into what they described as the ”unlawful acquisition of properties and false declaration of assets by the senator”.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Jonathan Ogwuche said they were at the commission to submit a petition against Mr Akpabio.
He said in 2007, Mr Akpabio ‘claimed’ to have eight buildings, while in 2011 ”he declared 10 buildings”.
“Curiously however and of worrisome note, in 2016 following an investigative report by an online media, it was alleged that he was among those with properties in Dubai.
FLASH: A plush home linked to ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio @SenAkpabio located in Dubai
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) January 21, 2016
“Contrary to claims by Sen. Akpabio, the ‘following outlandish properties’ located at the under-listed addresses could also be traced to him as follows:
“1. Plot 5 Ikogosi Spring Close, off Katsina-Ala Crescent, Maitama-Abuja; 2. Plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama; 3. 22 Probyn Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and 4. Plot 23 Olusegun Aina Street, Parkview, Lagos.”
He said the properties ”are conspicuously missing in the asset declaration of the former governor”.
“With the exception of a Bedford armour bus which he claimed to be a gift, cars declared in 2007 were copied and pasted in 2011. This doesn’t represent the reality on ground as he is known to move about in a fleet of cars.”
The protesters claimed a son of the former governor ”who is said to have a property in Abuja (in 2007 declaration) at Games village acquired on 1-1-2005 worth a value of N16.9 million has an annual income of just N350,000, while in 2011 declaration, the value remained unchanged”.
“The source of the house is questionable. We can incontrovertibly submit that Senator Akpabio freely dished out the finances of Akwa Ibom State to his children, friends and other family members while corruptly enriching himself with same at the detriment of the state.”
PREMIUM TIMES could not independently verify the allegations.
Anietie Ekong, a media aide to the senator, told this newspaper that they were not surprised by the allegations.
He said they have responded to several other petitions at the commission.
“This is not the first time we are going to EFCC. We have been responding to petitions since we left office in 2015,” he said.
He said the petitioners were pursuing a ‘political vendetta’. He added that previous petitions had been withdrawn ”by their originators because of lack of evidence”.
Several persons have in the past demanded investigation into the finances of the former governor while he has also been invited by the EFCC several times.
Mr Akpabio was elected in 2007, at a time the nation enjoyed robust oil revenue. He left office on May 29, 2015.
Akwa Ibom and Rivers States are Nigeria’s largest oil-producing states. The two states alternate as first and second top producers periodically.
The two states receive the highest cash allocation from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee monthly.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation indicate that under Mr Akpabio, known for ostentatious spending, Akwa Ibom received N1. 6 trillion from the federation account between June 2007 and May 2014.
At the time he vacated office, the state received staggering funds, excluding other revenues like Ecological Funds, internally generated revenue etc.
He recently dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the party on whose platform he served as governor and senator to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).