The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state has charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to effectively follow the due diligence in the ongoing prosecution of governor Udom Emmanuel and other officials of government over alleged money laundering of N1.4billion to quell election cases arising from the 2015 general elections.
The anti-graft agency had dragged Emmanuel and other top officials of his administration including the Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Linus Nkan; a Director in the Accountant General’s office, Mfon Udoma; a cashier in the Akwa Ibom Government House, Margaret Ukpe and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko (SAN) before a Federal High in Lagos in 2018.
In a statement by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Nkereuwem Enyongekere, at the weekend, “the crux of the case as filed by the EFCC before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, is that governor Emmanuel spent N1.4billion belonging to the Akwa Ibom state government to pay lawyers, all of them Senior Advocates to defend him at the 2015 election petition tribunal where his victory was being challenged by our own candidate, Obong Umana Okon Umana.”
According to the APC, the N1.4 billion were disbursed to the governor Emmanuel’s lawyers by the lead Counsel and former National President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN).
Explaining further, the statement disclosed that “while the cashier and the other officials of government were being charged for their roles in transferring the cash from the state government coffers to Usoro’s personal account in Access Bank, the Attorney General Nwoko’s indictment is in connection with N55million, part of the N1.4billion paid into his account from the lead lawyer, Usoro”, adding: “The Court will have to decide if this was a kickback to Nwoko.”
Revealing the major interests of the APC in the matter, the party’s spokesman pointed out that the whopping cash could have gone a long way in addressing the challenges of development of the state and its people.
Besides, Enyongekere stated that the development was a further vindication of the fact that governor Emmanuel deployed state funds to buy justice and robbed APC of victory in the 2015 polls.
“We believe that we were robbed of victory during the elections and at the Supreme Court during the post-election litigations. We recall that the Tribunal had cancelled elections in 18 out of the 31 Local Government Areas and ordered a rerun in those Councils.
“The Appeal Court to which the Tribunal Judgment was appealed by both the APC and PDP in cross appeals totally cancelled the elections in the whole state and ordered for a fresh governorship election to be conducted by INEC.
“But in the night of February 3, 2016, the Supreme Court in a rather strange manner entered judgment in favour of Udom Emmanuel, the reverberations of that debauchery are still being felt by today and our state has yet to recover from it”, the statement stressed.
“We, therefore, urged the EFCC to prosecute the money-laundering case very diligently and bring it to logical conclusion in the interest of justice for the long-suffering people of Akwa Ibom State,” the party added.