• Show proof or shut up –PDP
From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that N29.76 billion being federal allocation accruing in the last one year to the 31 local government councils in the state has been diverted.
The party called on stakeholders in the state to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate the whereabouts of the funds since the state government has said it has not been tampering with the local government allocations.
In a swift reaction, state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the APC to show proof of such misappropriation and to institute legal action as private or corporate entities against those it believed had embezzled any fund in the state.
The two parties, through their respective publicity secretaries, had appeared at different times on Planet FM 101.1 Uyo, on Monday, to speak on issues affecting the state.
APC Publicity Secretary, Chief Ita Awak, who spoke earlier in a current affairs programme: Team Nigeria, alleged that based on the statement by Governor Udom Emmanuel that he (Emmanuel) had never touched local government fund, it was necessary for anti-graft agencies to come to the state to investigate how the N960 million which had accrued to each of the 31 local government councils, totalling about N29.76 billion was spent.
Speaking on the same radio station some hours after, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ini Ememobong, challenged his APC counterpart to show proof that local government funds have been misappropriated.
“You don’t have to call on the people or the EFCC to come and investigate any misappropriation of state’s fund; the law gives even an individual right to file a case in court to seek redress.
“But, such a person must be able to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
“But, I believe a time will come when we would begin to prove their allegation.
“It is not enough to drop allegation of fraud against any personality in the state and walk away. “We will soon begin to charge people with libel so that these wild allegations can either be proved or those making them asked by the courts to pay damages,” he said.