Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) on Wednesday said he is surprised to see the name of Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom among the list of ministerial nominees sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking in a chat with Daily Independent from the United States, Sagay who described most of the nominees as excellent candidates and trusted hands said he believed that as a government which has anti-corruption as one of its cardinal programme, an individual like Akpabio who is under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) shouldn’t be on the list.
Akpabio first came under investigation in 2015 following accusations that he diverted over N100bn from the oil-rich state between 2007 and 2015, an allegation which he has denied.
According to an interim report by the EFCC, the former governor allegedly gave a bank N1.4bn for unknown reasons.
Akpabio was alleged to have in 2013 paid N566, 883, 728.66, N441, 808,081.90 and N392, 631,943.37 as gifts to a new generation bank.
The investigation is being handled by the Counter-Terrorism and General Investigation Section of the anti-graft agency.
He said “I am very happy about the excellent ministers that are appointed like Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Lai Mohammed, Adamu Adamu and Hadi Sirika. I am also happy about the inclusion of the dynamic and highly resourceful Festus Keyamo, who is very young and will add fresh energy and ideas into the team”
“Also, a lot of tested hands and reliable political allies are also there who committed to carrying out the programmes are also included such as George Akume, who is the leader of APC in Benue”.
“Altogether, I am happy even though I don’t know many of the names from the North but the ones I know, I am very happy about it”.
“The only nominee I am not satisfied with is Godswill Akpabio. I don’t know how he got into the list. That is the only one I have a reservation about”.
“You know when we have a programme in which anti-corruption is number one, if anybody is under investigation or not, I don’t think it is wise to include him in that list. But the president knows why he did that. Apart from that, I am quite happy with the list” he said.