Nigeria: Akwa Ibom Legislature Acquits Accountant-General

26 February 2021

The Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Uwem Andrew Essien, has been absolved of all wrongdoing and given a clean bill of health by the State House of Assembly after investigating allegations of misappropriation levelled against him in a sensational investigative news report.

Recall that the House had, at its plenary on December 8, 2020, set up an Adhoc Committee to investigate issues surrounding the withdrawal of the 2019 Statement and Accounts of the State Government by the Office of the Accountant General.

The Committee said the allegations were baseless and illogical.

Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Rt. Hon. (Sir) Udo Kieran Akpan, while presenting the Committee's report, cited alleged expenditure of N4.864 billion on Toyota Prado Jeeps and expenditure of N5.04 billion on the maintenance of the state Aircraft by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government etc, as some of the issues investigated by the Committee.

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Rt. Hon. (Sir) Udo Kieran Akpan revealed that the Office of the Accountant General, had on noticing errors in the Account already published by the Accountant General, withdrew the published Account and released a new version.

He said the alarm raised by Akwa Ibom people on the issues investigated was in good faith and intended to hold the government accountable.

The Lawmaker noted that the Accountant General's Office acted appropriately by noticing and correcting the errors but however warned that such errors should not be allowed to occur the second time.

He said the audited accounts of the state government as passed by the House of Assembly on 4th June 2020 remains valid.

Subsequently, the House after considering the report at the Committee of the Whole, adopted the report, while the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey directed the Clerk of House, Mrs Mandu Umoren to communicate the resolution of the House to the appropriate quarters.

In the meantime, the House has adjourned Plenary to March 2, 2021

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