Former EFCC Prosecutor Sues Akwa Ibom Governor Over 13% Derivation Refunds

Wike had said the money he used in developing the state was not from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) but money paid to Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, and Bayelsa states.


File photo of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

 

A former prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nkereuwen Mark Anana, has dragged the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, before the Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking to know how the 13 percent oil derivation refunds aid received from the Federal Government was utilised.

Apart from the governor, the state’s Accountant General and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) are also listed as first to third defendants.

Anana, a citizen of Akwa lbom State, in his 35-paragragh affidavit in support of the motion, stated that sometime in November 2022, at the venue of the inauguration of the Nigerian Law School Rivers State, the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, informed the public that the source of money he used in carrying out developmental projects in his state, including the Nigerian Law School recently built by his government, was mainly from the 13 percent oil derivation monies which accrued to Rivers State of Nigeria as an oil-producing state.

He also said the 13 percent oil derivation monies that were not paid to the Niger Delta states since 1999 were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and paid in his tenure.

Wike had also said the money he used in developing the state was not from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) but money paid to Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, and Bayelsa states

Anana noted that since 2019 to date, the Rivers governor had commissioned about nine flyovers with more waiting to be commissioned.

The lawyer also said Wike stated that with part of the money, he also built a cancer centre through Julius Berger company at the cost of N25.9 billion, which he named after Dr. Peter Odili.

Anana stated that Akwa Ibom State is located in the southern part of Nigeria and is one of the Niger Delta states, being an oil-producing state. He added that the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, had never prior to Wike’s revelation disclosed that Akwa Ibom State received such money from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He further averred that he knows as a fact that the Akwa Ibom governor hid this fact from the people of the state until Wike exposed it.

The plaintiff also stated that for a fact he knew that Emmanuel had not made any publication or speech in denial of receiving the 13 percent oil derivation refund after the disclosure by Wike.

Anana therefore said he instituted the suit to compel the first to third defendants to release information on the amount paid to the Akwa lbom State Government as her 13 percent oil derivation monies and other monies realized, coming into the treasury of Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Emmanuel.

He further stated that several projects had been abandoned by the Udom Emmanuel administration in Akwa lbom State, including the Ibom Airport Road expansion projects, Ibom Science/industrial Park, and several sections of drainage in Uyo, the state capital.

Also abandoned, Anana argued, were the International Worship Center, the Peacock Paint Factory, which the governor claimed to have revived, the Coconut Refinery, Itu Automobile Assembly Plant/factory, etc. He also mentioned that the General Hospital in Ukanafun Local Government Area (LGA), otherwise known as Cottage Hospital, built and left uncompleted by the previous government of Akwa lbom State, had also been abandoned by Emmanuel.

Giving further examples, the lawyer said 99 percent of the roads in Ukanafun, Oruk Anam, Ibiono Ilbom, and other LGAs of the state have not been tarred, making life difficult for transporters and other road users during the rainy season, while old women and men suffer to access markets during the core rainy season because of poor road infrastructure in the state.

The plaintiff further averred that there is so much poverty in Akwa Ibom State as even gratuities of retired public and civil servants remain unpaid. He noted that it was in the middle of this that governor sought nomination from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to contest the presidential election.

To know what the state utilised funds on, Anana stated that he had sent a letter dated November 30, 2022 through DHL to the Akwa Ibom governor, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2011, requesting information on the income and expenditure of the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Emmanuel.

He also stated that he sent a letter dated November 30, 2022 through DHL to the state’s Accountant General, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2011, requesting information on the income and expenditure of the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Emmanuel.

He added that a letter dated January 11, 2023 was also sent through DHL to the AGF pursuant to the Freedom of information Act 2011, requesting information on the federal monthly allocation to the Akwa Ibom State Government and 13 percent derivation fund paid to the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Emmanuel.

Anana stated that it was only the AGF who replied his letter but did not provide the information sought for.

The applicant said both the Akwa Ibom State Governor and his Accountant General had wrongfully denied him the information sought for.

He stated that the refusal of the defendants to release the required information was unlawful, criminal and detrimental to the political. economic and social growth of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria as a whole. He added that the defendants’ refusal to release said information showed lack of transparency and accountability and indicated a high level corruption in their respective public offices.

He stated that there was a connivance between the defendants not to release the needed information contrary to the Freedom of Information Act and there was therefore an urgent need to compel them to release the required information to him, as the three defendants are not greater than the laws of this country.

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The plaintiff submitted that without proper accountability, the Governor of Akwa lbom State was prepared to run away with the state resources and is at the verge of running away with the state resources and funds.

He therefore urged the court to resolve all the questions put forward for determination in his favour as the suit was brought in the interest of justice. Some of the questions he is asking the court to determine includes: “Whether Akwa lbom State is a public institution by virtue of Section 2 (1)(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, and is entitled to keep information about all her activities, operations and businesses.

“Whether by virtue of Sections 2 (3) (v) of the Freedom of information Act 2011, the Government of Akwa Ibom State headed by Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, is entitled to document information relating to receipts and expenditure of public or other funds of the state.

He also urged the court to grant the following reliefs: “A declaration of the Court that by Section 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of Information Act, he is entitled to seek before the Court information from Akwa Ibom State Government on the income from Internally Generated Revenue of Akwa Ibom State, Monthly Federal allocation to Akwa Ibom State, Ecological fund paid to Akwa Ibom State and 13 percent oil derivation refunds from the Federal Government of Nigeria to Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.

“A declaration that by Sections 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of Information Act, he is entitled to seek before the Court information from Akwa Ibom State Government on how the 13 percent oil derivation refunds paid by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the government of Akwa Ibom State, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Akwa Ibom State and Monthly Federal allocation to the government of Akwa lbom State is and or expended.

“A declaration that by Section 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of Information Act, he is entitled to seek before the Court information from the Government of Akwa lbom State on the capital projects embark upon by her under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the location of the projects, the cost of the projects and the contractors of those projects from inception till date.

“An order of the court compelling the Accountant-General of the Federation, to disclose to him, in writing, the total amount of money paid as 13 percent oil derivations refund and Federal Monthly allocation to Akwa-Ibom State Government, under the leadership of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel by the administration of President Mohammady Buhari.

“An order of the court compelling the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, the Accountant General of Akwa-Ibom State to disclose to him in writing, the total amount of money generated internally, Federal Monthly allocaton from Federal Government of Nigeria and 13 percent oll denvation refunds realized and of paid to Akwa ibom State withn the d pensation of Governor Udom Gabnel Emmanuel as Governor of Akwa lbom State.

“An order of the court compelling the Governor of Akwa ibom State, the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State to disclose to him in writing on how the 13 percent oil derivation refunds from the Federal Government of Ngena to Akwa Ibom State, Internally Generated Revenue of Akwa ibom State and Monthly Federal allocaton to Akwa bom State is expended under the leadersh p of governor Gabriel Emmanuel  Edom.

“An order of the Court compelling the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, the Accountant General of the Akwa ibom State to disclose to him in writing any other money received by the Government of Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Governor Udom Gabnel Emmanuel.

“An order of the Court compelling the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, the Accountant General of Akwa ibom State to disclose to him in writing the ‘Capital Projects’ embork upon by the government of Akwa ibom State under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the location of the projects, the cost of the projects and the contractors of those projects from inception till date.”