Following the clamour for Local Government elections in Akwa Ibom state, one would have been forgiven for hoping that the newly elected council chairmen and their vice would tow a different path to that of the state government in the area of financial management but insiders within has revealed that it’s not so.
Secret Reporters sources alleged that Governor Emmanuel Udom may have commenced way to begin bribing the Local Government Chairmen, to pave way for a smooth electoral operation in 2019. We gathered that the 31 LG chairmen of Akwa Ibom State and Vice Chairmen who camped at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos for just three days are now millionaires.
According to one of our sources, who was in the know of how the money was disbursed for the trip; Udom through the new Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs doled out N750 thousand to each Chairman, just for flight and three days hotel accommodation bringing the total sum to Twenty three million, Two Hundred and Fifty thousand Naira (N23,250,000) while each of the Vice Chairman got N600 thousand Naira for same purpose bringing the total financial ammunition to be Eighteen Million, Six hundred thousand Naira (N18,600,000).
This money given to them does not include their estacodes and allowances which a knowledgeable source disclosed was about N500 Thousand Naira for each person, which further reduced the state treasury by N31 Million.
Secret Reporters tab on the Chairmen indicated that they only went there “cool their brains after the hectic election period and not actually to learn. Sir, just ask one of them if they copied note during the lectures and you will not get an answer”, a source narrated to us in a facebook chat.
We gathered that the initial plan was to jet away to Barbados but the fear of criticism from Nigerians and indigenes of the States made them stop the plan and opted for Lagos.
Calls placed to Frank Archibong, who’s the ALGON Chairman and council boss of Eket to respond to our enquires failed, as he didn’t pick his calls.
Pictures is courtesy of Inibehe Effiong
The phrase, ‘Bail is free’ in Nigeria is a farce, despite several declarations by the authorities that bail is free, people are still charged outrageous sums as bail.
Secret Reporters has reliably learned that an old man was sent to jail just because he couldn’t stump up N500 thousand as payment for bail to the police.
Mr Anthony Omosigbo, who hit his cousin with a stone on the head following a minor family dispute on the 13th of November 2017 was arrested and remanded in custody despite the case having been settled in the family.
Three weeks after, the said cousin passed on and Mr Omosigbo was arrested and taken to the State CID,Homicide Section and along the line, both families resolved the issue through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the complainant wrote an official letter to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police and also swore a court affidavit to legalize the process.
The old man was recommended for bail but the IPO in charge of the case, Srgt Linus demanded a whooping sum of N500 thousand as bail before Mr Omosigbo would be released. The poor family could not afford the money and offered to pay N50 thousand but the IPO refused and compiled up charges before the court who sent the man to jail.
On January 28, 2018, the IPO reduced the man’s age from 73 years to 42 years and arraigned him at Ehor Magistrate Court after spending 25 days in police custody without proper investigation. The magistrate declined jurisdiction and ordered a duplication of the case file and sent it back to the Department of Public Prosecution for advice and immediately gave an order for the remand of the old man in custody.
Secret Reporters research shows that the Oko Maximum Prison was built in 1906 to contain 230 inmates, but there are currently 864 prison inmates in the prison.
Former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim has been caught red handed as being a major beneficiary of the nation’s fund without working for it, Secret Reporters can authoritatively report.
Exclusive documents in possession of Secret Reporters revealed that, just two months for President Goodluck Jonathan to hand over to his successor, Anyim Pius arm twisted the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to release the sum of N500 million to him for no reason apart from ‘special services’ written on the document. Towards the end of the regime and fifteen days to go, he made another demand of N20 million for same ‘Special Services’, which was given to him. The documents confirmed that the payment was made in two tranches by one Joel Isaac.
According to the document obtained by us, the first payment of N500 million was made on 4th March 2015 with a receipt issued without adequately stating the purpose of payment and the second payment of N20 million was also made by same Joel Isaac on the 14th of May 2015. Interestingly, the document showed Revised September 1992 payment voucher. Mr Rasheed Abedeen who works in the Directorate of Finance and Administration, office of the NSA as a Chief Clerk was part of those who signed away the slush funds. All payments were addressed to the SGF.
Having been arrested, questioned and subsequently released by the anti-graft agency last year, the former SGF has been going about unperturbed even with cases of corruption hanging over his head.
Our sources indicate that apart from embezzlement of these funds, monies were also withdrawn from the Ecological Fund Account for Federal and State Governments for purposes not related to Ecological problems which the funds were primarily meant for.
Messages sent to him to get his own side of the stories were read but not replied. He did not also pick calls.
To be continued…