Ban Senator Akpan from entering UK, presidential panel writes British authorities

Ban Senator Akpan from entering UK, presidential panel writes British authorities

- The presidency has asked the British government to ban Senator Bassey Akpan from entering the United Kingdom

- The federal government also requested the UK government to freeze all bank accounts and assets linked to the senator

- Akpan was said to have acquired stupendous wealth with taxpayers’ money to fraudulently purchase properties in the UK and other countries

A report by Daily Independent indicates that the federal government has written to the British government asking it to ban Senator Bassey Akpan from entering the United Kingdom.

Akpan, 45, is the senator representing Akwa Ibom Northeast senatorial District in the National Assembly. He is also the immediate past finance commissioner in his home state during the administration of Godswill Akpabio, currently the Senate minority leader.

In a letter by the presidency, addressed to the UK Home Office Secretary, Honourable Amber Rudd, the federal government also requested the UK government to freeze all bank accounts and assets linked to the senator.

The presidential panel is alleging that Akpan, while in office as a commissioner of finance in Akwa Ibom state, had between August 7, 2007 and 2014 fraudulently acquired numerous properties scattered within and outside Nigeria.

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The letter dated Monday, March 28, was signed by Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman of the special, presidential investigation panel for the recovery of public properties.

Obla stated that the move was necessitated by startling revelations arising from investigations conducted by the panel.

The letter stated that Akpan acquired stupendous wealth with taxpayers’ money to fraudulently purchase properties in the UK and other countries around the world.

Thee letter also claimed that the senator had acquired a number of landed properties in London, United Kingdom, through Barclays Bank of London financed mortgage to the tune of £1million.

“The circumstances under which Senator Bassey Albert Akpan acquired all these landed properties in the United Kingdom are suspicious taking into account that for the past ten years, he has always been a public officer and his legitimate earnings are far below the worth of the assets he has acquired in the United Kingdom.

“He is therefore by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) a public officer. He is presently under investigation in Nigeria by this panel for illicit acquisition of assets and money laundering.

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“In the light of the foregoing, I am writing to bring to the notice of the Home Office Secretary, the fraudulent acts of Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan which include money laundering activities, assets stealing, forgery, tax evasion and extortion.

“It is kindly requested for the Right Honourable Home Office Secretary to use her powers to issue an Exclusion Decision on Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan from the United Kingdom and its territory pursuant to the Home Office. Exclusion from the UK Booklet Version 1.0 page 12 under corruption cited: Tax evasion, Money laundering, Bribery and accepting kickbacks, Extortion, Asset stealing, fraud and match fixing in sport,” the letter stated.

The government had earlier filed a case against Senator Akpan before Justice Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an interim order for the forfeiture of undeclared assets by the senator.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 8, accused the presidential panel of over-reaching its mandate.

The ad hoc committee of the House investigating the panel made the allegation at its sitting in Abuja.

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Chairman of the committee, Honourable Aliyu Ahman-Pategi, said that the decision of the lawmakers to investigate operations of the panel was to reposition it and help the government in its fight against corruption.

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Source: Naija.ng

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