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AKHA to quiz Ufot Ebong, Gov’s CPS over alleged loan fraud

Ufot Ebong

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has concluded plan to question governor Udom Emmanuel’s Special Assistants who are involved in dealings of the Anchor Poultry Borrowers scheme described by the House to have content of irregularities.

The House which made their plan known last Thursday beside ordering the suspension of Anchor Poultry Borrowers Scheme, inaugurated A seven member ad-hoc committee headed by Hon. Idongesit Ituen to carry out what it described as an investigative hearing into the Anchor Poultry Borrowers programme.

The Committee has Hon. Nse Ntuen, to serve as the Deputy Chairman of the committee,  while, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan, Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh, Hon. Aniefiok Dennis, Hon. Samuel Ufuo, Hon. Uduak Ududoh and Hon. Mrs. Mfon Ekong are to serve as members. The committee’s investigation will border on the disbursement and implementation of the programme.

The terms of reference to the committee as read by Speaker Onofiok Luke include to, among others, investigate and determine the source of the publication of over 3800 names of acclaimed beneficiaries; to ascertain whether due process was followed in the selection process; and whether the list of beneficiaries represents the composition of the state in proportionate manner. The committee which has two weeks duration to submit its report is also mandated to determine the source of funding, and as well recommend sanctions for any public officer found to have erred in the process.

The ad-hoc committee is to report back to the House within two weeks.

The need for the investigative hearing came as a result of a motion of urgent public importance brought before the House by member representing Essien Udim State constituency, Rt. Hon. Nse Ntuen.

Hon. Ntuen who is the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, raised alarm over some observed irregularities in the selection process of beneficiaries for the N3.5 loan programme.

Briefing the House on the matter, Hon. Nse said he was shocked to see newspaper publications to the effect that over 3000 indigenes of the state have been selected to benefit from the Poultry Anchor Borrowers Programme, an empowerment programme of government, and expressed regrets that due process was not followed in the selection of beneficiaries. He said the action could not have had the authorization of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Also speaking in support of the motion, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Felicia Bassey, House Leader, Rt. Hon Udo Kierian, Chief Whip, Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, Hon. Mfon Ekong, Hon. Mark Esset, Hon. Idongesit Ituen, Hon. Otobong Akpan, Hon. Otobong Ndem, Hon. Aniekan Uko, Hon. Aniefiok Dennis, Hon. Effiong Bassey, and Rt. Hon. Elder Friday Iwok, said there was need for the House to invite the government officials responsible for the observed irregularities in the selection for questioning. The House Leader, Rt. Hon Akpan particularly took time to point out the multiple repetition of names in the list of 3800, describing it as wrong and fraud.

The House in a resolution, directed that “the disbursement and implementation of the scheme be suspended until after the conclusion of investigation and action taken at plenary”.

Among those the House mentioned by contribution during plenary to be involved in the deal were the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process, Engr. Ufot Ebong and Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Moses Armstrong.

It was gathered that the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Ekerette Udoh may be among those that will be quizzed by the House owing to pointers that the replicated names in the publication may have emanated from him.

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