By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has debunked a report claiming that he offered a bribe worth $350,000 to the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abudulrasheed Bawa.
The minister also clarified that his recent visit to the EFCC was to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the NDDC in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from oil and gas companies in the custody of the EFCC as against the false report that he was there for questioning.
Akpabio, in statement released on Saturday his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said the minister had no reason to induce the EFCC boss with a bribe.
Ekong added that the insinuation that the minister was detained by the anti-graft commission were false and an attempt to paint him in bad light.
“On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Senator Akpabio through a telephone call sought an audience with the new chairman of the EFCC to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the NDDC in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from oil and gas companies in the custody of the EFCC.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had since December 2020 approved the transfer of monies earlier paid by international oil companies into the CBN/EFCC account now to be transferred to the CBN/NDDC account.
“The distinguished chairman granted the request for 10.00am but due to other exigencies, the honourable minister requested for a change of time to 11.30am whereupon the chairman amended the request to 12noon due to his busy schedule.
“The two senior officials met and had a robust discussion and the Honourable Minister received very intelligent and useful input from the EFCC chairman, Abdulrashed Bawa on the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.
“However, the discussion was inconclusive since the minister needed to attend a security meeting with select south-south/southeast leaders and governors in the Office of the National Security Adviser then slated for 1.30pm of the same day.
“Both officials resolved to reconvene same day by 5.00pm to conclude their interactions.
The honourable minister returned to the office of the EFCC chairman at about 5.45pm and departed thereafter at about 6.20pm after very resourceful deliberations.”
The statement noted that Akpabio could not have carried $350,000 into the office of the EFCC chairman as he went there without a bag or a container.
Ekong further dismissed insinuations that the meeting between the duo was arranged by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.