EFCC Begins Probe Of Ex-governor Akpabio Over Alleged N108.1bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes and Commission has begun investigation into alleged theft of N108.1billion of
Akwa Ibom funds by former Governor Godswill Akpabio.
The action followed a petition forwarded to the commission by an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong.
Mr. Ekpenyong had on June 8 petitioned President
Muhammadu Buhari and the EFCC, calling for Mr.
Akpabio’s probe and accusing him of looting Akwa Ibom
Investigations by PREMIUM TIMES showed that several
other indigenes of the state who have demanded the
investigation of the former governor, have been invited by
the EFCC to adopt their petitions.
On his part, Mr. Ekpenyong was summoned on
Wednesday, June 17, to adopt his petition and provide
more details to some of the allegations he made against
The former governor, now senator, was elected in 2007,
at a time the nation enjoyed robust oil revenue.
Akwa Ibom State and Rivers State are Nigeria’s largest
oil-producing states. The two states alternate as first and
second top producers periodically.
The two states receive the highest funds allocation from
the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC,
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 a staggering N1. 6 trillion from FAAC
between June 2007 and May 2014.
At the time he vacated office on May 29, the state
received more, excluding other revenues like Ecological
Funds, internally generated revenue etc.
In a new petition to the EFCC dated June 22, and copied
to Mr. Buhari and the Inspector General of Police,
Solomon Arase, Mr. Ekpenyong gave details of some of
Mr. Akpabio’s alleged financial recklessness.
He indicated that between January and December 2014,
the ex-governor colluded with two of his top aides to steal
a whopping N108.1 billion from the state’s treasury.
Mr. Ekpenyong told the EFCC that the former Government
House Permanent Secretary, Etekamba Umoren, and the
former Accountant General of the state, Udo Isobara,
colluded with Mr. Akpabio to steal the funds.
“Between January –December 2014, it is on record that
the trio of Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Etekamba Umoren and
Mr. Udo Isobara, made illegal but substantial withdrawals
of cash from a designated state government-owned
account with Zenith Bank with account number:
1010375881 amounting to N22.1 billion,” he stated in the
“It is worthy of note that reasons for such ungodly cash
withdrawals against financial regulations and due process
laws range between sundry use and unjustifiable
expenditures by Godswill Akpabio and his numerous
surrogates and proxies.
“For example, a whopping N18 billion was withdrawn
fraudulently from the state FAAC account with the United
Bank for Africa in trenches of N10 million and above by
Mr. Isobara in a surreptitious manner to conceal their
For assisting Mr. Akpabio retire billions of the stolen
funds, Mr. Ekpenyong said Mr. Umoren was rewarded
with an appointment as Government House chief of staff
and now secretary to the state government under Udom
The legal practitioner went on to state that over N50
billion of Akwa Ibom funds were spent by the former
governor during the last general elections.
During the period under review, he said Mr. Akpabio also
withdrew a whopping N18 billion from the state coffers
under the guise of special services, reception of very
important guests and sundry items.
“The cumulative aggregate of these monies stolen by
Godswill Akpabio from the coffers of government as
pocket money is the annual budget of some states in
Nigeria put together,” the petition reads.
He listed the bouquet of assets acquired by the former
governor through surrogates to include a multi-billion
naira mansion at Plot 5 Okogosi Spring Close, off
Katsina-Ala Crescent, Maitama-Abuja, a multi-billion
naira mansionette at Plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama,
Abuja and another multi-billion naira mansion at 22
Probyn Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Others include a multi-billion naira mansionette at Plot 23
Olusegun Aina Street, Parkview, Lagos and a multi-
billion naira 25 storey building at Akin Adesola Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos.
“As earlier promised, more details of assets and graft-
related funds illegally and fraudulently siphoned from
Akwa Ibom State treasury and laundered to foreign
destinations are in the offing. As usual, we will do the
An EFCC source said senior officials of the commission
held discussions with Mr. Ekpenyong on the petition on
“He also adopted the petition he forwarded to the
commission and provided additional details about the
alleged stealing of funds by the former governor,” the
The source noted that many of those who have sent
petitions to the commission against the former governor,
now senator, have already been invited to adopt their
He confirmed that very soon the commission would invite
the former governor for questioning.
Allegations, complete falsehood
Mr. Akpabio could not be reached for this story. Messrs
Umoren and Isobara could not also be reached for
But the commissioner of information during the
administration of Mr. Akpabio, Aniekan Umana, described
the contents of the petition by Mr. Ekpenyong as
falsehood taken too far.
He said the petition betrays a lack of understanding of the
workings of government.
“Every sum withdrawn from a government account is tied
to a subhead and there must be a budgetary provision. To
attribute fraud to withdrawals which had the full sanction
of Government and was accommodated in the budget is
strange, mischievous and untenable. More so, when one
understands that there are checks and balances which
guide all aspects of government financial administration,”
He also said the allegation that the State Government
spent N50 billion on the March General Elections falls flat
on its face based on his explanations of the workings of
government as regards financial transactions.
“There was no such provision in the budget of this year
and such an amount could not have been paid as an
extra-budgetary expenditure and yet salaries and other
commitments were met. We challenge the petitioners to
provide proof to support this wild allegation. Who was it
paid to? How was it paid? Where was it paid? And when
was it paid?
“Senator Akpabio does not own a 25-storey building in
Victoria Island or in any part of the world, as alleged by
the petitioner. It is also a patent falsehood that the house
at 22 Probyn Road, Ikoyi belongs to Senator Akpabio.
It is a rented building which ownership can be verified
from Lagos State Lands Registry.
“Senator Akpabio does not own the properties mentioned
in the petition to belong to him. You can verify the
ownership of the properties (5 Okokosi Close, Maitama
and Plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama) from the land
registry in Abuja,” he said.
He also denied the state received over N2 trillion as oil
“Please do note that the idea that the Akwa Ibom State
Government received over N2.5 trillion in the eight years
of the Akpabio administration is an outrageous lie. What
this suggests is that the State Government received an
average of N26 billion monthly for the period. What a lie!
From published accounts of disbursement from the
Federation Accounts, Akwa Ibom State never received up
to N26 billion in any month throughout the period.
Note that in some months like the April and May, 2015,
Akwa Ibom State received about N8 billion only.”