N40bn Fraud: Akpabio writes EFCC, claims to be sick

Godswill Akpabio, former Niger Delta Affairs minister, has failed to appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over ill health.

Mr Akpabio, who resigned as minister to pursue his failed presidential ambition, is being investigated for misappropriating over N40 billion at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a government parastatal under his supervision.

The former Akwa Ibom governor was scheduled to meet with Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the federal financial investigators today but turned in a letter by his lawyer, Umeh Kalu, instead.

In the letter addressed to Mr Bawa, the Akwa Ibom North West senator-elect regretted his inability to appear for questioning, appealing for the meeting to be rescheduled.

“As mentioned in our last letter to you dated February 10, 2023, our client is undergoing treatment for pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmia, and, has recently been advised to seek further attention abroad,” the epistle, dated March 29, reads.

“It is in the light of the above, that we respectfully request that our client’s appointment with you be rescheduled to a date convenient to your officers, preferably after the forthcoming Easter and Ramadan holidays.

“This request is in no way intended to disrespect your high office, even as we regret every conceivable inconvenience that our request will occasion on you and your team of operatives.

“Please accept the assurances of our professional regards, while thanking you for your understanding,” his lawyer wrote.

The EFCC had in the past questioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain while he was in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but tuned down investigation after he crossed over to the ruling party.

He was probed for allegedly siphoning over N108 billion while in office as governor of the oil-rich Akwa Ibom State.