The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has extended its drag net to former Governor Godswill Akpabio’s men with the formal invitation to the immediate past Permanent Secretary, Special Duties,(Government House), Mr, Etekamba Umoren, to explain his alleged role in an alleged N450million scam.
The invitation followed submissions by former Military Administrator of Akwa-Ibom State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), to the effect that he neither signed for nor received nor distributed the sum of N450million cash from the N24billion alleged loot of former Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, which was allegedly delivered in a bullion van to Government House, Uyo, during the tenure of the Akpabio.
The New Diplomat investigations revealed that Umoren was invited last week following allegations that as the Permanent Secretary Government House, he was privy to and played active role in penning several multi-million naira memos for ex-Governor Akpabio and “he has to be questioned to ascertain the role he played in the whole messy deal because the ex-Governor has repeatedly denied ever signing for or receiving any such cash and it is our responsibility to get to the root of the matter by inviting Mr Umoren.”
Umoren, who was allegedly foisted on Governor Udom Emmanuel by his predecessor as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) is expected to be grilled on the multi-million scam and related matters at the EFCC Port-Harcourt Office this week.
The New Diplomat had broken the story in its last edition with the headline.”N450m Scam: Ex-Gov at EFCC, Names Akpabio’s Aides…Reveals Shocking Details of How Signature Was Forged In Alleged SURE-P Funds Scam”. The lid was blown open following an invitation extended to Nkanga by EFCC operatives in Port-Harcourt. He was subsequently moved to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja where he allegedly told investigators that his signature was forged and his passport picture, with his identity card super-imposed on the document bearing his name as the recipient of the said sum of N450million.
EFCC Sources told The New Diplomat that the former governor accused Akpabio’s aides of perpetrating the fraud.
Speaking with The New Diplomat on phone, Air Commodore Nkanga had said he neither signed for any such cash nor received and distributed the money in question. “’I told them (EFCC) that I never signed for, I never received and I never distributed any such money. They are investigating the matter.”
Investigations by The New Diplomat revealed that the EFCC may have gotten to the root of how Umoren allegedly used the former military administrator’s name to collect the sum of N450million in two tranches from one Saint Anthony Ejiowu, a staff of Fidelity Bank in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The first tranche of the money was N350million which was allegedly paid on March 27, 2015 while the second tranche of N100million was released in cash on March 31, 2015. The cash was allegedly taken to Government House, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital where it was allegedly distributed without the knowledge of the former military administrator. Two top government officials were reportedly fingered in the high-wire scam, one of them the permanent secretary.