The former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for interrogation over an investigation concerning corruption allegations against him.
According to speculations, this is coming on the backdrop of a recent report that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu had concluded plans to support Akpabio’s Senate presidency bid.
During Akpabio’s three-year tenure as the head of the Niger Delta Development Commission, allegations of an N40 billion fraud was reported.
In the year 2020, the Senate and the House of Representatives made a resolution to investigate the purported financial misconduct of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, which was estimated to be around N40 billion.
Moreover, there were accusations of contract fraud amounting to over N86 billion implicating the senator-elect and a former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, which had been under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to The PUNCH, Akpabio was previously detained by the anti-graft agency for allegedly stealing N108.1 billion from the Akwa Ibom government.
The EFCC had originally requested that Akpabio come for questioning on March 29, but in a letter to the anti-graft organisation, his attorney Umeh Kalu, SAN, claimed that his client was ill with pneumonia and heart arrhythmia.
While pleading with the EFCC to reschedule the questioning, Kalu stated that Akpabio would be unable to accept the invitation on March 29 due to alleged ill health, adding that the Senator-elect had already scheduled medical appointments abroad.
He, therefore, said,
“As mentioned in our last letter to you dated February 10, 2023, our client is undergoing treatment for pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmia, and, has recently been advised to seek further attention abroad.
“It is in the light of the above that we respectfully request that our client’s appointment with you be rescheduled to a date convenient to your officers, preferably after the forthcoming Easter and Ramadan holidays,” the letter from Kalu dated March 27, 2023, reads.
The latest invite was revealed in a letter obtained by an online newspaper, SaharaReporters.
The EFCC summoned Akpabio to its Abuja headquarters on May 9, 2023, according to a letter dated April 13, 2023 and received by Akpabio’s lawyers, Seasons Law Firm.
It reads, “I refer to your letter number dated March 27, 2023, on the above subject. In view of the above, you are kindly requested to inform your client Senator Godswill Akpabio to personally report for an interview with the undersigned through the Head, CMU-1 team on May 9, 2023, at 5th Floor, EFCC Headquarters Plot 301/302 Institutions and Research District. Jabi, Abuja at 10:00 am.”