The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has explained that at no point was he detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for attempting to bribe the agency’s boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa with a sum of $350,000.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Anietie Ekong, disclosed this in a press statement on Saturday following a media report of the minister’s detention on Wednesday.
Ekong explained that Akpabio on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 had an audience with the new Chairman of the EFCC by Noon to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the NDDC in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from Oil and Gas Companies in the custody of the EFCC and other 3% levies due the Commission still being owed by some Oil and Gas Companies.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had since December 2020 approved the transfer of monies earlier paid by International Oil Companies into the CBN/EFCC account which should later be transferred to the CBN/NDDC account.
He said the meeting was not concluded because Senator Akpabio had a security meeting with select South-South/South-East leaders and Governors in the Office of the National Security Adviser early scheduled for 1.30pm of the same day.
He further said that the EFCC boss graciously rescheduled the time of the meeting same day in which Akpabio later in the day had a robust interaction with the Senator on the aforementioned issue as well the methodology on how to succeed in the ongoing forensic audit of the commission.
He however urged members of the public to ignore the report describing it as blackmail from detractors who are dissatisfied with the level of progress made in the on-going Forensic Audit of the NDDC.
The statement also noted that the minister had at no point bribed the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN with a sum of $5 million as alleged to get Mr. Effiong Akwa elevated to the position of the Interim Administrator of the NDDC.
The statement in parts, ‘for the information of the general public, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has no reason to offer bribe to the new Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa and never did.
“There was no issue of detention and Senator Akpabio could not have carried $350,000 into the office of the Chairman of the EFCC as he went there without a bag or a container.”
The Honourable Minister sought the cooperation of the EFCC to actualize recoveries of further 3% levies due to the Commission still being owed by some Oil and Gas Companies.