Politics

Group Demands Code Of Conduct Bureau’s Probe Of Federal Lawmaker, Onofiok, Others Over Alleged N327million Fraud

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A civil society and anti-corruption group, often called Malpractice and Anti-corruption Interception Venture (MACiP), has tasked the Code of Conduct Bureau to right away probe a former Speaker of the Akwa-Ibom State Home of Meeting and member representing Etinan, Nsit Ibom and Nsit Ubium federal constituency, Onofiok Luke, and the Speaker of the state Meeting, Aniekan Bassey, over alleged embezzlement of N327million.
Expressing displeasure over the way in which and method the problem was being dealt with, MACiP in an announcement signed by its chairman, Iteveh Ekpokpobe, obtained by SaharaReporters, disclosed that the CBB ought to step up the investigation of the petition earlier than it.





Additionally fingered within the alleged embezzlement are some senior officers of the state Home of Meeting and the state authorities within the petition earlier than the anti-graft company. 
MACiP had earlier in its petition addressed to the CCB chairman, famous as follows, “The audited monetary statements of Akwa Ibom State in 2016 and 2018 revealed questionable expenditures below the Akwa Ibom State Home of Meeting. An evaluation of the studies for the interval revealed the challenge below the State Home of Meeting has been used as conduit pipe to siphon funds by corrupt officers of the state. Completion and furnishing of Meeting mini press was awarded on the sum of N112million and subsequently retired by the identical subhead in 2016 and 2018. Years later, there is no such thing as a recognized challenge on floor that exhibits proof and worth for the tens of millions of naira reported to have been spent.
“Based on the 2016 audited report of Akwa-Ibom State, the Meeting mini press challenge had one hundred pc efficiency because the N100 million budgeted was completely expended. Two years after, N12million out of N22million budgeted was retired for the acquisition of kit for the mini press. This reported buy in 2018 amounted to 54.5 p.c challenge efficiency. Nonetheless, 5 years after the preliminary disbursement of funds for the challenge and almost three years since N12million was supposedly spent on gear, investigations reveal that there is no such thing as a challenge executed or bought on the state meeting.
“Paperwork obtained present that three workplaces have inquiries to reply. The challenge was captured within the state’s appropriation act below the state home of Meeting’s finances with the Clerk because the Chief Accounting Officer. The Accountant Common of the state disburses funds below the supervision of the finance ministry headed by the Commissioner. The Accountant Common is chargeable for secure retaining books of account, and ensures inside management procedures are maintained to be able to safeguard the property, detect and forestall fraud and different irregularities.
“The 2015 finances exhibits that N100 million was additionally budgeted for a similar merchandise (Meeting Mini Press) with the breakdown displaying that N30 million was earmarked for the acquisition and set up of guillotine machine, working machine, ebook stitching machine and sew professional (Heidelberg). One other N30m was budgeted for the acquisition and set up of a 40 KVA generator, N15 million every for coaching, and buy of consumables and N10 million for the development of printing workplace. Nonetheless, the audited monetary assertion of 2015 revealed that, solely N2 million was finally spent on “consumables.”
“In 2016, the State Home of Meeting budgeted N100 million for the acquisition and set up of HP excessive tech multi server audio transmitter/audio system system to hyperlink its chambers with members’ workplaces. These transmitters are digital wi-fi gear which might allow state legislators to simply talk between their workplaces and the chambers the place plenary is held. On the identical 12 months, N85 million was additionally put aside for the Computerization/ Networking of Meeting Advanced/ Provision of ICT Broad Band for the Advanced.
“Broadband in ICT stems from the phrase broad bandwidth. It applies to community which carries a number of channels of knowledge (sign) starting from transferring photos, sound or textual content. Apparently, the Accountant Common’s Report with audited monetary statements for 2016 exhibits that the acquisition and set up of HP Excessive Tech Multi Server Audio Transmitters/Audio system System to hyperlink chambers with workplaces acquired one hundred pc disbursement of funds. The report additionally revealed that an merchandise tagged, Computerization/ Networking of Meeting Advanced/ Provision of ICT Broad Band for the Advanced” had 40 p.c efficiency with N34 million expended out of the N85 million budgeted.
“The challenge was categorised below an umbrella sub-head tagged, Computerization/ Networking of Meeting Advanced/ Provision of web companies/Growth of AKHA Data Park (Web site). Regardless of the recorded expenditures, 5 years after, investigations reveal that such gadgets don’t exist. One other questionable expenditure within the Home of Meeting is the development of audio system’ lodge. Alongside different tasks similar to the development of Deputy Speaker’s lodge and everlasting resident for principal officers, the sum complete of N755 million was budgeted in 2019. For the Speaker’s Lodge alone, a whopping N183 million was budgeted.
“Checks into the state 2014 Appropriation Regulation exhibits that the challenge was conceived as a storey constructing with boys’ quarters, and has appeared in subsequent finances since then. The challenge had a drawdown in 2019 as solely N30 million was spent representing 16.4 p.c of the full budgeted sum. Immediately, there is no such thing as a indication of graduation of the challenge two years after disbursement of fund. Your entire panorama stays undeveloped. Apparently, the challenge has even assumed a special dimension in keeping with the 2021 finances. Checks confirmed that the challenge has now been re-christened as “Development of Meeting Village” with a finances of N120 million.
“Within the breakdown, N50 million was budgeted for design whereas N70 million went to development. These line gadgets, particularly “design,” increase questions as to what the N30 million in 2019 was spent on when the challenge was not but designed. Due to this fact, as a Civil Society Organisation with zero tolerance with violation of the regulation and in pursuant of our mandate, we’re below obligation to induce the Code of Conduct Bureau to analyze these allegations forthwith and cost these culpable earlier than the tribunal or we will be compelled to take authorized and different mandatory actions to press residence our calls for.”
When contacted, the previous Speaker of Akwa-Ibom State Home of Meeting and member representing Etinan, Nsit Ibom and Nsit Ubium federal constituency, Onofiok Luke and the incumbent speaker of the state Meeting, Aniekan Bassey, didn’t reply to calls and messages despatched to them.

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