Friday, April 23

Akwa Ibom Govt Accuses FG of Witch-hunt

                                                           Emmanuel Udom

The Akwa Ibom State Government has alleged that the federal government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is planning to indict the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, and some officers of the state in criminality over a purported withdrawal of N1.7 billion from the state coffers.

The state government in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, argued that the alleged indictment of the officials by the EFCC is a “baseless and malicious allegation, tainted with political undertone to malign the integrity of the current Government of Akwa Ibom State.

Udoh explained that the indictment “is another face saving attempt by the EFCC to justify the several illegalities it has allowed itself to be used to perpetrate against the government and good people of a peaceful state by the opposition party. These antics of the EFCC have continued to attract widespread condemnation from within and outside the country.”

He lamented that it is instructive that “the EFCC is regurgitating this line of skewed narrative in the media for the umpteenth time in a flagrant act of impunity against the judicial process. The Akwa Ibom State Government had instituted a legal proceeding against the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Uyo, and therefore would remain fervent in its determination not to be dragged into a public discourse on a matter that is patently sub-judice.

“The constitution and laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria authorises only the state House of Assembly and the state Auditor-General to pry into the financial dealings of a state government. In the last three and a half years, Akwa Ibom State has been one of the few states, if not the only state that publishes its annual audited financial statements. This underscores the state government’s commitment to transparency, accountability and integrity in governance. Copies of the state’s annual audited financial statements are available in the public domain.

“Nigerians and indeed members of the international community are watching the unfolding EFCC drama with keen interest. For the records, the current Government of Akwa Ibom State is led by a consummate professional with over two decades of proven track record of integrity and performance in financial management, which transcends the boarders of Nigeria. The Akwa Ibom State Government will not be distracted by this poorly scripted drama by the EFCC and will continue to do all within the ambits of the law to protect the integrity of governance in the state,” the commissioner explained.

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