The meeting between Akpabio and Bawa was arranged by Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who was recently entangled in a N5 million bribery scandal.
Before he was arrested, Akpabio was said to have personally delivered the $350,000 in cash to Bawa.
According to SaharaReporters, Akpabio and his aides were released after a phone call from the Aso Villa to the EFCC Chairman.
According to a senior EFCC source, “He and five others arrived at the EFCC office and proceeded to meet with Bawa, the newly named Chairman.
“The meeting was scheduled for the minister by the Attorney General of the Federation, who was recently appointed. You may recall his $5 million bribery case with Malami himself.
“He was ushered in at 1 p.m. to meet with the EFCC chairman while personally carrying the money. He was apprehended and detained, along with his six aides. After two hours, he was released after receiving a call from the Villa.”
However, it was unclear if the $350,000 had been issued to Akpabio at the time of writing this story, but SaharaReporters learned that Bawa had been under a lot of pressure to return the money to the minister.
According to sources, Akpabio bribed Malami and others with $5 million in order to name Effiong Akwa as the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, which both of them denied.
There have also been reports of an N40 billion fraud in the NDDC, which is under Akpabio’s ministry’s oversight, explaining the pressure on Akpabio to clear his name of the corruption allegations that hang over his head.
Last year, the Senate and House of Representatives agreed to investigate the NDDC’s Interim Management Committee’s (IMC) suspected N40 billion financial irresponsibility in the previous three months.
However, Akpabio, whose ministry oversees the department, quickly issued a statement titled “Re: National Assembly investigates suspected N40bn corruption in NDDC,” claiming that no corruption has been detected in the NDDC while it is under the oversight of the Niger Delta Affairs ministry.
The EFCC is also investigating reports of a N86 billion contract fraud involving Akpabio and the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei.
Another source noted the strain on Akpabio, saying, “Don’t forget that he has a long history of corruption cases with the EFCC dating back to his time as a governor. And now, with billion-dollar NDDC scams, he’s under a lot of pressure.
“When Akpabio was released, he frantically called Malami, who had arranged his meeting with the EFCC chairmen, pleading with him to drive him to the EFCC office so he could clarify to Bawa that he didn’t mean to hurt him by bribing him, but Malami said he was ill.
“Malami told him he had just returned from Turkey and had gone to Sokoto before collapsing in front of him.”
Malami collapsed in Sokoto state on April 15 while attending Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s inauguration of the restored State High Court complex, according to SaharaReporters.
The minister reportedly collapsed after giving his speech at the ceremony, but was quickly rescued by his aides and dignitaries, who assisted him in standing.
Following his return to Abuja, he was admitted to a private hospital.
You may be interested
Niger boat mishap: 30 bodies recovered, 65 rescued, 7 still missingWebby - May 9, 2021
[unable to retrieve full-text content]
Army arrests 13 Boko Haram terrorists in Kano raidWebby - May 9, 2021
Thirteen suspected Boko Haram terrorists have been arrested in a raid on a home in Hotoron Arewa of Nasarawa local…
Gunmen hit Mike Okiro Police Station, Abia’s third target in weeksWebby - May 9, 2021
Mike Okiro Police station in Ubani attacked by hoodlums. Photo Aba City Blog Mike Okiro Police station in Ubani attacked…