An Abuja lawyer, Mr Leo Ekpenyong, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate former Akwa-Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, for allegedly mismanaging N3 trillion belonging to the state.
Ekpenyong, in the 5-page petition obtained by the Street Journal, dated June 8, 2015 and addressed to EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, also copied President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase.
The petitioner alleged that Akwa-Ibom received statutory allocations amounting to over three trillion naira during the eight years that Akpabio was in power, but the ex-governor spent it recklessly.
Ekpenyong alleged that the amount is more than five times what the entire five states of the South-East earned from the federation account within the same period.
He urged the EFCC to investigate the Akpabio administration, adding that the government’s “so-called uncommon transformation’’ programme was not commensurate with what was received.
Ekpenyong also alleged that the former governor’s administration had no respect for financial prudence and fiscal responsibility, as all transactions were shrouded in secrecy, culminating in reckless financial mismanagement.
For instance, he said, throughout Akpabio’s eight years in office, “all matters pertaining to how much the state receives, how much is spent, how much is being owed, have remained a crudely guided secret.’’
The legal practitioner also accused Akpabio of running the financial affairs of the state without constitutional approval.
“In 2013, only four state executive council meetings were held, and in 2014, only three held and in the current year, two, one earlier in the year and the valedictory executive session,’’ Ekpenyong alleged.
He also alleged that the Akpabio administration engaged in budgetary indiscipline, whereby budgeting was shrouded in deceit and official cover-ups, as it refused to make known the budget’s actual performance.
“In 8 years, there has been no open presentation of budget breakdowns and when they pretend to do that, they did it withhold the necessary documentations to ensure that no independent assessment of government and budget performance was done by citizens,’’ Ekpenyong alleged.
The petitioner further accused Akpabio of diversion of local government funds, particularly the pension funds which the governor allegedly diverted ostensibly for the building of the Specialist Hospital at Itam.
Ekpenyong also accused the ex-governor of using state funds for the acquisition of personal assets for himself and his family members.
For instance, he said, Akpabio used a company, NESTOIL, as a front for money laundering activities, using same to acquire 10 per cent equity in Julius Berger Plc and a 25-storey building in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Other assets of the ex-governor, he said, include a N1.4 billion mansion at Ewet Housing Estate; a N3 billion residential apartment at No. 22, Probyn Road, Ikoyi; an over N6 billion new house under construction at Shelter Afrique Estate in Uyo.
Also allegedly owned by Akpabio are foreign assets located in Ghana, St Kitts and Nevis Island, United Kingdom, among many others.
Also owned by the Akpabio family is a N3.4 billion school owned by Mrs Unoma Akabio, his wife, located at Shelter Afrique in Uyo; and a N4 billion country home owned by her located in her village.
Also accused in the petition is Emem Akpabio, the ex-governor’s relation, a middle level Shell Petroleum member of staff, who allegedly owns a housing estate estimated at N10.5 billion located in Ukana.
The petitioner also alleged that Akpabio used large sums of money belonging to the state government to fight political battles outside the state.
For instance, he accused Akpabio of funding Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, against ex-Gov. Rotimi Amaechi.
Akpabio, he alleged, also funded the impeachment moves against ex-Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako, and Nasarawa’s Tanko Almakura, as well as ex-PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur’s removal.