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HomeNewsAKWA IBOM POULTRY SCAM: AKHA TO ORDER ARREST OF UDOM’S SENIOR AIDES

AKWA IBOM POULTRY SCAM: AKHA TO ORDER ARREST OF UDOM’S SENIOR AIDES

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The ad hoc Committee recently set up by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly (AKHA) to investigate the Newspaper publications of beneficiaries for the Anchor Poultry Borrowers Scheme, has told the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process, Elder Ufot Ebong, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ekerete Udoh, and others who were summoned to appear before the Committee that they (the Committee) would issue a warrant of arrest on them if they again fail to honour the Committee’s invitation.
The Committee made this known on Thursday when it commenced an investigative public hearing on the alleged scam.
The Committee however gave Ebong, Udoh and others absent till Friday, 11th November, 2016 to appear before it or risk arrest.
Declaring the exercise open, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Idongesit Ituen explained that the House was empowered by the Constitution to carry out the investigation. Giving an insight into the decision by the Assembly to probe the matter, Hon. Ituen who represents Itu State Constituency, said the ad-hoc Committee is determined to ascertain the source of a recent newspaper and online publications of which about 3862 beneficiaries were enlisted for a ‘Poultry Borrowers Anchor Scheme’ purported to have the blessing of the state government in which about N3.5 Billion fund is being set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria for disbursement to beneficiaries.
The ad-hoc Committee Chairman maintained that the House of Assembly investigating panel was mandated to among others, unravel the source of the publication, and ascertain whether due process was followed in the selection process and to determine whether the list of beneficiaries reflects the composition of the state in proportional manner.
Among witnesses who testified during today’s hearing include, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural resources, Elder. Wisdom Ekpo, Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Political and Legislative Affairs, Dr. Mrs. Helen Akpabio, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Praise Okon.
Others who testified before the lawmakers include the Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Mr. Moses Armstrong, and Chairman, Technical Committee on Agriculture and food security, among others.
Also expected to brief the ad-hoc Committee on Friday are the former Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Nathan Ekaette, Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Mrs. Meflyn Anwana, The Consultant to the scheme among others.
Reacting to the development, one of the accused Governor’s aides elder Ebong, wrote on his facebook timeline: “I DID NOT SNUB AKHA, I’M NOT IN THE COUNTRY, UFOT EBONG REPLIES MAIL NEWSPAPER.”
“I travelled to Morocco since yesterday the 9th to attend an international conference on climate change. The President and our dear Governor are also billed to attend. I got to hear from friends that there was a radio announcement inviting me to appear before the honourable house today, the 10th while I was already away from the state since yesterday!!”
Reacting further, the Senior Special Assistant on Technical Matters and Due Process said “I don’t know what wrong I have done to you that you decide to incite the honourable house against me by publishing those false allegations in the name of “reliable sources” and “quotes”. For the umpteenth time hear me, I would definitely have honoured the invitation of the Honourable committee if I had known about the invitation before I left the state. No matter what your aim was, I use the name of God to ask you to please retract this publication because it does no good to me or the state, I beg of you.”
Efforts to hear from the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Udoh, the reason for his refusal to honour the House Committee’s invitation proved abortive. (Culled from News Track Nigeria).

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