Another Peoples’ Democratic Party senator, Bassey Akpan from Akwa Ibom state has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving vehicles worth N303 million from Babajide Omokore, an oil magnate who is under trial for fraud.
Akpan, a former commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom, is the third PDP senator to have been arrested by the commission in the last three weeks.
The first was Peter Nwaoboshi, a senator from Delta state. He spent some days in custody before being arraigned in court, sent to prison and granted bail.
Jonah Jang, a PDP senator from Plateau state, was arrested by the anti-graft agency and is currently in detention following the refusal of a Plateau high court to grant him bail.
Akpan was said to have given contracts worth billions of naira to Omokore, who allegedly used the vehicles as payment in return of the favour.
A fact-sheet from the EFCC said: “We have been interrogating Senator Bassey in the last 12 hours on the allegations against him. One of the allegations against him is how N303 million worth of vehicles were given out as gifts by the owner of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited between July 30, 2010 and January 8, 2014.”
According to the EFCC, detectives have uncovered how contracts worth N618million to two companies namely Bay Atlantic Energy Services Limited and Sahel Energy/Power between 2010 and 2014 were awarded. The companies belong to the owner of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited Chief Jide Omokore.
However, Akpan has denied receiving kickbacks from Omokore, insisting that the businessman is his friend. ”The vehicles are gifts from Omokore on the need to ensure my personal safety. I have known him for 19 years. They were also contributions to my governorship campaign in 2014,” Akpan had said.