Akwa Ibom AIDS boss arrested for stealing N30m

OrijoReporter.com, Dr Nkereuwem Akpan

Dr Nkereuwem Akpan, the Director and Project Manager of Akwa Ibom State Agency for Control of AIDS (SACA), has been arrested for N30m fraud.

Akpan’s arrest was made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegation that he siphoned the said sum, property of the agency into a personal account.

The money, according to the anti-graft agency, was earmarked for HIV/AIDS programmes in the state including outreach, sensitization, HIV testing and counselling, purchase of screening and confirmatory test tie-breaker.

But the suspect, who was picked up last Thursday, allegedly diverted the money to personal use, a statement released by his accuser, the EFCC said.

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It said, the office of the Secretary to the State Government had in November 2018 paid N24.6m into SACA’s bank account but on Akpan’s instruction, it was moved to Effective Medical Lab account with First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

Effective Medical Lab was said to belong to one Peter Uduak, accused of being Akpan’s accomplice.

The statement reads in part: “It was also discovered that immediately the money hit Uduak’s account, he withdrew the money between November 26 and November 28, 2018, and handed it over to Akpan in cash, who in turn deposited N22 million into his private account (Life Link Specialist Laboratory) domiciled in Access Bank.

“Further investigation showed that less than N6 million was used by the suspect, for the purposes for which the N30 million was released.

“During interrogation, the suspect confessed that the essence of instructing the N24,600,000 to be paid into his friend’s company account and later to his company’s account, was to conceal the source of the money, having originated from the SSG.

“The suspect also confessed to using N7,120,000 to purchase Christmas rice for people who helped in contacting the authority for the release of the said money.”

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