The Chairman of Urue offong Oruko Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom state, Okon Tom Osung has been dragged before the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police over allegation of stealing N200 million council fund using the name of a council Director of Works as cover up.
Engr Ekong Akpan, the Director of Works in the local government in a petition signed by his lawyers, Humanity Chambers said the Chairman who is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of stealing N500 million council fund has been harassing him (Akpan) for making damning disclosure against the council chairman while giving evidence before the EFCC investigation team.
According to Akpan’s lawyers, a socio-political group, Urueoffong/Oruko Integrity Group had petitioned EFCC alleging that the council chairman had defrauded the council to the tune of N500 million.
Akpan, the Council’s Director of Works said he was invited by the EFCC via a letter with reference number CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG/T11/Vol.18/012 delivered to him on 16th of June, to give evidence before the investigation panel.
Akpan disclosed in the petition that he was confronted with more than 25 different documents ranging from memos to vouchers allegedly raised and signed by him, which led to withdrawal of more than N200 million from the council’s account.
However, upon his denial of the knowledge of the origin of the documents, the EFCC, he said extended invitations to some employees of the Council like Treasurer, Cashier and Director of Finance for questioning.
During interrogation, the Cashier was said to have owned up that the dubious vouchers and memos were ordered produced by the Council Chairman in the name of the Director of Works while his signature were forged on them to seek authentication.
Akpan however said, in the process of travelling to Abuja to heed the calls of EFCC on various occasions, he has spent up to N300,000 (three hundred thousand naira) in paying for hotel accommodation, travelling fares and other logistics.
However, the council chairman Akpan said as an act of vendetta, has refused to pay his salary since June up until now for refusing to “accepting the authorship of these forged documents”.
The petitioner urged the police special fraud to conduct a fresh investigation into the matter and bring all concerned to book since the EFCC which has all relevant documents and information on the case in its possession, has refused to take further actions on the issue.