Akpabio, not Emefiele deserves prosecution over fraud allegation -Group

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Frontline civil society organization known as Accountability Initiative (AI) has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is supposed to charge the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio of fraud and not Emefiele.

The group expressed shock over the comments attributed to Akpabio that President Bola Tinubu’s administration does not know what crime to charge former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele with.

In a statement signed by its convener, Mallam Abubakar Yusuf, the CSO described Akpabio’s utterance as that of a “Kettle Calling Pot Black”, noting the former Akwa Ibom State governor who allegedly looted the state funds should be behind the bars and not occupying the number three seat of the Federal Republic.

The group said: “We received with shock, the comments attributed to Akpabio attributing the current economic hardship and hunger in Nigeria to the actions and policies implemented during Emefiele’s tenure at the apex bank.

“It’s shocking and at same time funny that Akpabio who has cases before the anti graft would have the audacity to turn around and blame others for the nation’s misfortune which he is an architect of.

“We just want to let Nigerians know that as recent as April last year, it was widely reported in the media that the EFCC invited Akpabio, for interrogation over an investigation concerning corruption allegations against him. There were allegations of a N40 billion fraud perpetrated in the Niger Delta Development Commission, a parastatal under the ministry superintended by Akpabio for three years.

“Also, there were allegations of over N86 billion contract scams involving him and a former Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, which the EFCC had been investigating. The anti-graft agency had in the past arrested Akpabio over the alleged theft of N108.1 billion of Akwa Ibom funds.

“The EFCC had earlier invited Akpabio to appear for questioning on March 29, 2023 but his lawyer, Umeh Kalu, SAN, in a letter to the anti-graft agency alleged that his client was suffering from pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmia. With the above, any discerning mind would know that Akpabio deserves to be charged of fraud and other crimes not Emefiele.”