Akpabio Accuses EFCC of Persecution
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a persecuting agency rather than a prosecution agency.
Akpabio Claims He Was Targeted by Political Opponents
Akpabio, who made the accusation on Wednesday during the confirmation of Olu Olukayode and Mohammed Hamajoda as Chairman and Secretary of the EFCC, respectively, on the floor of the Senate, said he was targeted by political opponents in the buildup to the 2023 general elections.
Akpabio Narrates His Ordeal
Narrating his ordeal, the Senate boss said a frivolous petition was written against him. He disclosed that he wrote back to say that he would not respond to baseless petitions, but the former EFCC Chairman leaked his private letter “with the stamp of the EFCC to an online news platform, Sahara Reporters.”
Akpabio Vows to Amend EFCC Act
Akpabio said: “I don’t want to talk about the EFCC. We have the gavel in this chambers, and we will amend the (EFCC) Act to strengthen it and make the agency more effective.”
Akpabio Warns EFCC Chair Not to Use Him as Example
Meanwhile, Akpabio has told the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, not to use him as an example in the anti-corruption fight.
Olukoyede, who appeared before the Senate for screening on Wednesday, had cited Akpabio’s name as an example in his presentation on investigating a graft case.
The chairman of the anti-graft agency, however, stopped when he realised the mood of lawmakers in the Chamber.
Olukoyede said, “If we are investigating the Senate President for example,” prompting lawmakers to burst into laughter.
The laughter became louder when Akpabio told the EFCC nominee not to cite his name as an example in the investigation of a corruption case.
Akpabio said, “I’m very glad that the nominee wants to use the Senate President as an example. But Mr nominee, leave the Senate President for now, look at this direction (pointing at the seats of opposition lawmakers).”
Olukoyede, after the loud laughter, continued his speech without mentioning anyone’s name, saying, “If you are fighting corruption, you become the enemy of everybody.”
Akpabio has a N108.1 billion alleged theft of funds case before the anti-graft agency. The commission commenced an investigation of the former Akwa Ibom governor after a petition by an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong.
The EFCC had detained Akpabio over alleged fraud, but he has consistently maintained innocence.