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NDDC Clears Akpabio of Wrong Doing Over $5 million, $350,000 Bribes To AGF, EFCC Chairman

The Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) has cleared its Chairman and former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswil Akpabio of any wrong doing.

The Commission also denied a news media report alleging that Akpabio was clamped down on, arrested and detained for two hours by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for attempting to bribe the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The NDDC said the report which alleged that Akpabio offered $350,000 to Bawa was untrue as the Minister had no reason to do so.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Anietie Ekong reads “on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio through a telephone call sought audience with the new Chairman of the EFCC to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from Oil and Gas Companies in the custody of the EFCC.

President Muhammadu Buhari had since December 2020 approved the transfer of monies earlier paid by International Oil Companies into the CBN/EFCC account now to be transferred to the CBN/NDDC account.”

NDDC also explained that besides granting the minister’s request, the anti-graft Czar also update Akpabio on the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.

According to the statement, “there was no issue of detention and Senator Akpabio could not have carried $350,000 into the office of the Chairman of the EFCC as he went there without a bag or a container.”

While adding that, “the EFCC Chairman gave useful and intelligent advice on the methodology of achieving success in the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC, the presser disclosed that the Minister solicited the EFCC’S cooperation to recover 3% levies owed the NDDC by Oil and Gas Companies operating in the Niger Delta.

It further debunked allegation that Akpabio paid $5 million in bribe to the Attorney General of the Federation to elevate Effiong Akwa as Interim Administrator of NDDC.

In the statement, Akong narrated that “Mr. Effiong Akwa was duly made by Mr. President in obedience to an exparte order of court in suit number ABJ/CS/616/2020, before the Federal High Court, Abuja which restrained named Members of the Interim Management of the NDDC from carrying out their duties until the application for an order of Mandamus was argued and disposed off.

In that suit, the Court had ordered that the headship of the NDDC should be handed over to the most Senior Director pending the conclusion of the suit.

The most Senior Director at that time happened to be Mr. Effiong Akwa, who, months earlier had replaced the late Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Chief Bassey Etang who passed on in May 2020 after a brief illness, and the originators of the suit did not replace the late Chief Etang with Mr. Akwa as a party in the suit hence his emergence as the Interim Administrator.”

The statement also called on the public to disregard the allegation, adding that it is “falsehood peddled by the authors of the false and malicious publications.”

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