Posted by By Chukwudi Akasike, Uyo on
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the Chairman of Abak Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.....
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the Chairman of Abak Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, Rev. Innocent Idiong.
Idiong was said to have been taken away by the EFCC officials on Wednesday over a petition written by five councillors from the area.
According to a copy of the petition, obtained by our correspondent, on Thursday, the councillors accused the chairman of gross financial impropriety, abuse of office and code of conduct and total violation of laws establishing the parliamentary system of government at the local government level.
The petition, signed by Mr. Nsikak Essien (Abak Uran I), Patrick Mbang (Abak Urban 11), Iniobong Ukwak (Abak III), Friday Utang (Otoro I) and Effiong Udofia (Otoro II), called on the EFCC to expedite action on the allegation levelled against Idiong.
The councillors accused the chairman of receiving N14million as stabilisation funds from the State Joint Account and misappropriated it.
The petition read, "When he was asked on the July 21, 2004 at the council meeting, he explained that he used the money to defray leave grants and the 12 Ĺ per cent arrears, whereas records available show that no such arrears were paid for those months or even thereafter.
"The head of council collected the sum of N40million from his church, Hutherian Brethren Church, purporting it to be authorised by the state governor to be used to settle N29million which he said was owed Co-operative Development Bank, Uyo, and has up till date not accounted for the balance of N11 million to the Legislative Council."
Idiong was also accused of withdrawing N4 million from the councilís funds and claimed that the amount was an agreement for the loan taken, even when the identity of the lawyer in the agreement remained unknown.
The council chairman took another loan of N13.5 million from his church without disclosing the purpose or informing the Legislative Council.
The petition added, "The head of council took overdraft facilities of N10million and N15million from Intercontinental Bank, Uyo branch, without disclosing the purpose and without the authority and approval of the Legislative Council.
He also "bought" the sum of N44 million without disclosing purpose and without the approval and/or authrisation of the Legislative Council.