A former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, has given insight into why he was interrogated for several hours on Friday by operatives of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Speaking with reporters shortly after he left the EFCC headquarters late on Friday night, Mr. Akpabio admitted that he was summoned by the anti-graft body to respond to several allegations of corruption against him.
He however said he was not arrested, but that he honoured the commission’s invitation voluntarily.
“A young lawyer from my state has been petitioning the EFCC accusing me of corruption,” the former governor said. “So shortly before I got involved in an accident in August, the EFCC summoned me to come and respond to the allegations.
“But following the accident, I wasn’t well enough to honour the EFCC summon. And I let them know.
“So today, since I’m now well, and the Senate did not sit, I decided to honour the EFCC so as to answer questions concerning the allegations against me.
“I wasn’t arrested. I walked in there myself and now I’m back at home. The EFCC operatives were professional. They asked questions, and I answered.”
Mr. Akpabio insisted the allegations against him were false, saying “those making the allegations do not understand how government works”.
The former governor, who is now Senate Minority Leader, said the lawyer who dragged him to the EFCC submitted at least four different petitions, and that it would take a while for him to respond to each of the allegations.
“So I will return to the EFCC again as necessary,” he said.
Mr. Akpabio added, “I am a law-abiding citizen, and whenever I’m summoned to answer questions about how I served my people, I will always respond.
“I urge everyone who has served in public office not to be afraid to explain what they did and how they served.”
It will be recalled that the EFCC had begun investigation into alleged theft of N108.1billion of Akwa Ibom funds by the former governor in June.
The action followed a petition forwarded to the commission by an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong.
Mr. Ekpenyong had on June 8 petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the EFCC, calling for Mr. Akpabio’s probe and accusing him of looting Akwa Ibom state treasury.
Credit: Premium Times