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Published On: Sun, Jun 30th, 2013

Three Stewards Fired Over Alleged Missing $250,000 Akpabio’s Loot

Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio

LAGOS JUNE 30TH (URHOBOTODAY) Three stewards working in the Akwa Ibom state governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja was on Friday summarily dismissed by the governor, Godswill Akpabio, over missing bundles of mint fresh dollars valued at over $250,000 (N40 million) kept in the governor’s bedroom.
The governor who reportedly issued the instruction to dispense with the services of the political appointees personally found out on Wednesday during his visit to Abuja that four bundles of the foreign currency he left in his bedroom had been stolen while he was gone to a dinner with president Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock Villa.
Saharareporters gathered that the bundles dollars kept in the drawers in the governor’s bedroom were the leftovers from a trough of hard currency stashed away in a private security safe.
The governor reportedly expressed surprise that despite the near impregnable security in the lodge, coupled with the fact that the locks to that section of the lodge, including the governor’s bedroom, are routinely changed each time such heavy cash is brought in, the money could still disappear in the manner it did.
Though it could not be established firmly if the three steward were responsible for the missing cash, it was gathered that they may have been given the boot for apparent negligence in allowing the real culprits to gain access to the otherwise restricted area of the lodge.
A source close to the lodge said more heads might roll as investigations are ongoing to find out the identities of the other culprits involved in the theft of Mr. Akpabio’s cash haul.
According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, for fear of being victimized, accusing fingers are being pointed at Maria Ekpekong another staff member at the lodge who is the governor’s senior special representative in charge of the overall management of the lodge.
It was gathered that pilfering of huge cash in the lodge has become a recurring event. A few years ago, the governor removed all the civil servants deployed to work at the lodge and replaced them with political appointees and other private consultants he thought could be trusted.
In one instance, it was learnt that after bundles of cash disappeared
under similar circumstances, the burglary proof and window protectors around the governor’s apartment were changed sometime last year after the perpetrators broke through the ceiling to gain access to the room where cash was stacked in ‘Ghana must go’ bags.
Governor Akpabio frequently doles out state cash to buy political patronage and favors from various sectors of the Nigerian society.
Governor Akpabio is reckless with state funds, sometimes paying huge sums of money to buy himself awards both at home and abroad. is trying to keep this incidence under wraps, our sources say.
Source: Saharareporters

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