Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) is probing Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, for allegedly bribing its officials to the tune of N100 million.
A section of the media had alleged that unidentified CCB officials were offered the bribe to clear Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Okon Akwa, of wrongdoing on declaration of his assets since 2013.
A Federal Commissioner in CCB, Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, who spoke to reporters in Abuja, assured Nigerians that his outfit would unearth the truth surrounding the allegation.
Agbonayinma, who chairs a sub-committee set up to investigate the matter, said: “We have been given a mandate by the bureau to investigate the allegation against some officials of CCB that we saw on the social media. Let me be specific, one Mr. Jackson Ude twitted, and it went viral, that money was given to some officials of CCB by Akpabio. Because of that, a committee to investigate the allegation was set up, with myself as the chairman.
“The committee is not to witch-hunt anyone but to do its job of defending the constitution of Nigeria. We invited Akpabio who, in his wisdom, came to give his own side of the story. At the moment we cannot pass judgement as investigation is still in progress. All the accused parties remain innocent until investigation is over.”
Akpabio was said to have denied the bribery allegation.
MEANWHILE, the NDDC boss may be declared wanted if he fails to honour Thursday’s invitation by the CCB, The Guardian has gathered. Akwa’s invitation followed alleged rejection of Akpabio’s plea to give the NDDC boss a soft landing.
Akwa had failed to honour previous summons by the CCB to appear before an investigative committee set up to probe the alleged non-declaration of assets.
A reliable source at the CCB said: “The bureau is determined to see the matter through despite the pressure from Akpabio, who is still insisting that Akwa is being politically prosecuted. He came with Akwa on Thursday to negotiate soft landing for him, but we will investigate the allegation to the letter and, thereafter, hand him over to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for prosecution.
“Akwa failed to appear before the committee last time he was invited, instead, he sent a letter to the agency that he was officially engaged. We have given him another invitation for Thursday this week. If he fails to appear, for whatever reason this time, the CCB will be left with no choice than to declare him wanted.”