Probe Ayade for alleged diversion of N500bn fund, NACAT petitions EFCC, ICPC - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Probe Ayade for alleged diversion of N500bn fund, NACAT petitions EFCC, ICPC

The Network Against Corruption and Trafficking (NACAT) has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State for alleged financial impropriety and money laundering.

The group cited an audit report of the State Treasury between 2015 and 2020, which they claimed exposed how Ayade squandered state resources while serving as governor. 

Details of the report allegedly revealed that Ayade diverted funds meant for infrastructure development, workers' welfare, and other critical sectors to personal use.

The Coordinator of NACAT, Mr. Iteveh Ekpokpobe, stated that the audit report showed that Ayade's administration mismanaged over N500 billion ($1.2 billion) during his first tenure as governor. 

He further alleged that the governor engaged in money laundering activities, using his personal businesses, Leophina Works Limited and Hally Brown International Limited, to siphon state funds.

"We are calling on the EFCC and ICPC to immediately commence an investigation into Governor Ayade's activities while in office. 

"The audit report clearly shows that he misused state resources and engaged in financial crimes. We believe that he must be held accountable for his actions and made to face the full wrath of the law," Ekpokpobe said.

NACAT also submitted a petition to the EFCC and ICPC, calling for a thorough investigation into Ayade's financial dealings. 

The group urged the anti-corruption agencies to act swiftly and ensure that justice is served.

Reacting to the allegations, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ayade, Mr Christian Ita, dismissed the claims as baseless and politically motivated. 

He accused NACAT of being a tool in the hands of opposition politicians, who are desperate to tarnish the governor's image.

"As a journalist who is abreast of events, please going by allocations to Cross River, which are published monthly, has the state earned up to 200b in 8yrs? The answer is an emphatic no. 

"So, if the state never earned that kind of money, how could someone misappropriate what never exist?
I have seen the statement (petition). I am wondering if you have not noticed that some of the transactions listed predate Ayade’s governorship?

"These allegations are being regurgitated. More laughable is where they listed a transaction to Bayside. Everyone knows that Bayside is one of seven carnival bands funded by the state government for carnival calabar parade. So, it is trash to say that someone misappropriated N500bn which the state never had only shows the ridiculousness and idiocy behind the allegation.

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