Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom North-East senatorial district, Senator Bassey Akpan, for allegedly receiving vehicles worth N303m from oil magnate, Babajide Omokore, who is under trial for alleged fraud.
According to an EFCC report, Akpan while serving as a Commissioner for Finance under the government of Senator Godswill Akpabio, allegedly gave contracts to Omokore worth billions of naira.
The vehicles were believed to be kickbacks.
It was learnt that Akpan was arrested by the anti-graft agency on Tuesday.
The EFCC Spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest to our correspondent via a text message. On when the senator was arrested, Uwujaren stated, “Yes, he was brought in yesterday (Tuesday).”
An EFCC report revealed that the vehicles Akpan allegedly received from Omokore ranged from Range Rover luxury cars to campaign buses and trucks that were bought with the proceeds of fraud.
The report accused Akpan of receiving vehicles worth N303m from Omokore while he was the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance as well as the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee, whose job was to ensure that the government projects were completed using direct labour to save some money for the state.
Two of Omokore’s companies — Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy — were said to have received contracts from the committee headed by Akpan.
The report said, “Senator Bassey Akpan received a BMW X5 BP worth N50m; an Infinity QX56BP worth N45m; a Range Rover worth N40m; three Toyota Hiace buses worth N27m; two Toyota Hiace high-roof buses worth N16m, six Toyota Hilux D cabin vehicles worth N42m as well as other vehicles worth N83m.
“He received the vehicles from Omokore while heading a committee which was giving contracts to the same Omokore.
“He has been invited on several occasions but he has refused to show up.”
The lawmaker had, however, denied receiving kickbacks from Omokore, insisting that the businessman was his friend
“The vehicles are gifts from Jide Omokore on the need to ensure my personal safety. I have known him for 19 years. They are also contributions to my governorship campaign in 2014,” Akpan had said.
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