June 11, 2020
By Sanni Onogu, Abuja and Bassey Anthony, Uyo
THE Senate on Wednesday denied directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
It said a May 7 letter purportedly directing the commission to probe Akpabio over alleged contract fraud at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was forged.
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, had earlier denied authorising the letter.
Clerk to the Senate, Mr Nelson Ayewoh, in a statement, also dissociated the upper chamber from the purportedly “forged letter.”
The statement reads: “I completely agree with the submission of the Deputy President of the Senate that the publication is ‘false, fake, malicious, mischievous and vexatious.’
“…At no time did the Deputy Senate President request me to forward any petition to any agency of government.
“At no time did the Office of the Clerk, Senate issue or cause to be issued, a petition seeking the monitoring and investigation of Senator Akpabio or any person for that matter.
“The Senate has channels for addressing public petitions. In the instant case, no petition on the subject matter is before the Senate and, therefore, no resolution could have been taken in this regard;
“The letterhead used by the mischief-maker(s) is different from the one in use in my Office as the reference number …on the forged letter is not an aspect of our filing index.
“The style, syntax and word fonts employed by the mischief-maker(s) in the correspondence varies from our in-house standard.
“Accordingly, the EFCC and the public are hereby advised to disregard this discredited petition. Security agencies are enjoined to investigate the source of this forgery.”
Also on Wednesday, a coalition of youth leaders in Akwa Ibom State warned against victimising Akpabio over the NDDC forensic audit.
The Coalition of Village Youth Leaders, in a statement, maintained that the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari was in order.
The group, in the statement by its president, Mr Godwin Peter, said: “We are undivided in our support for Akpabio because of his uncommon achievements so far in the Niger Delta Ministry.”