Governor Akpabio, accused of embezzling millions from Akwa Ibom State

SaharaReporters has learned that former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio has brazenly refused to leave the Governor’s mansion of the State. Sources close to the current government have said that Akpabio has moved from the presidential suite of the Gubernatorial Lodge to the luxurious VIP suite, despite the fact he is no longer Governor of the State. 

These developments come at a time when the former Governor is also being accused of gross abuse of public trust, embezzlement of public funds, financial recklessness, and laundering Akwa Ibom public funds for his own enrichment. 

Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Etekamba Umoren, former Permanent Secretary Government House and Mr. Udo Isobara, former Accountant General of the State are all being accused of pilfering State funds. 

Leo Ekpenyong and Co., a soliciting and legal practitioner's firm based in Abuja, has filed a petition personally against the former Governor, Godswill Akpabio, accusing him of “graft and money laundering perpetrated with impunity and utter disregard of laid down financial regulations and due process.” The firm possesses powerful evidence that the former Governor, now Senator, Godswill Akpabio has been involved in money laundering, and they are demanding that the EFCC and Federal Government investigate him thoroughly. 

The petition states that between January and December of 2014, N22 billion was extracted from the Akwa Ibom State Government Account with Zenith Bank, Uyo (Account Number: 1010375881). Their thievery was concealed by taking the money they stole and breaking it into N10 million clusters, which were then converted into housing and mortgage bonds that they will later spend on themselves.  

Former Governor Akpabo, was inaugurated on June 9th as Senator, representing Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District. He previously served as Governor of the State from 2007-2015.

The stolen State funds, which were described as “ungodly” in the petition, were used by Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Etekamba Umoren, and Mr. Udo Isobara for themselves throughout the Akpabio administration of the State.

The withdrawals were made by three officials within the Akwa Ibom State Government. The trio of Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Etekamba Umoren, and Mr. Udo Isobara all conspired and successfully ransacked the Akwa Ibom State Government Accounts together.

The funds were fraudulently extracted on the basis of fictitious expenditure requests made by Permanent Secretary Etekamba Umoren, which were authorized by the then Governor Godswill Akpabio, according to the petition.

Umoren was rewarded by Akpabio for his role in this nefarious scheme with the post of Chief of Staff of Government House.

Another whopping N18 billion was embezzled by this trio. They concealed this scheme by withdrawing the N18 billion in several smaller increments and falsifying requests under the  Special Services Department of the Governor's Office, before using it for themselves. 

The N18 billion was pillaged using multiple cash withdrawals of mostly N10m from the Akwa Ibom State Government main account with the United Bank for Africa, Uyo in order not to attract attention to the fraud. 

The total sum of N40.1 billion fraudulently withdrawn as cash by the Offices of the Permanent Secretary, Governor's Office and the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Department in 2014 was never spent on any public projects. The total amount of monies stolen by Godswill Akpabio in just one year is equal to the annual budget of some States in Nigeria put together, according to the petitioners.

A forensic examination of the financial records of the two offices will confirm that government funds were used to unlawfully to purchase properties acquired by Godswill Akpabio, including: a multi-billion Naira mansion at plot 5 Ikogosi Spring close off Katsina Ala Crescent Maitama, Abuja, a multi-billion Naira mansion at plot 28 Colorado Close, Maitama, Abuja, a multi-billion naira Mansion at 22 Probyn Road, Ikoyi Lagos, a multi-billion Naira mansionette at plot 23 Olusegun Aina Street, Parkview Lagos, a multi-billion Naira 25 story building at Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The EFCC and the Federal Government are being urged to bring the Godswill Akpabio to justice “for [this] uncommon but unprecedented display of fraud and plunder of the resources of the good people of Akwa Ibom, who are crying for justice.”

Read the full petition below:

Petition Against Godswill Akpabio.pdf

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