A whooping fifty million Dollar cash was allegedly found in the Uyo residence of the immediate past Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana.
A joint team of State Security Services and heavily Armed Police men, believed to have been mobilized from the Akwa Ibom State Government House are said to have stormed Umana’s residence, few days after his removal from office.
An impeccable government house source, who spoke to our Correspondent on grounds of anonymity confirmed the report.
According to him, the security operatives were sent to the former SSG’s residence on the governor’s instruction to retrieve what he described as ‘vital documents’ of possible secret deals of the state government.
According to insider sources, the commando-like operation was aimed at ensuring that all sensitive documents capable of indicting the state governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio were retrieved, before they stumbled on the cash.
Another reliable source claims that the fifty million Dollars was sent to the former SSG’s residence on the instructions of the governor, a few days before he was sacked as an exhibit, in case if he decides to reveal the governor’s secret dealings after his sack, unknown to him.
A government official in the state confirms: Yes, actually, the money,-fifty million Dollars was found in Umana Umana’s residence. But, the governor cannot say that he did not know about the money. When they concluded plans to sack him, they were afraid that he might leak some of their secrets. They thought of retrieving sensitive documents from him using security operatives, but there were fears that he may have kept copies outside his residence. There was an outstanding financial deal. Ordinarily, they use alternative money transfer for such bulk money, but this time, they sent the money to him in cash. They mounted surveillance around his house and ensured that the money had not left his house. As soon as they concluded plans to sack him, the next thing they did was to deny him assess to his office and after announcing his sack, stormed his house and found the exhibit.”
Continuing, the source explained that, “with the exhibit found in his house, he can no longer open his mouth against the governor. Any day he talks, the evidence will be provided and used against him, the case opened and he goes to jail for financial crimes”
Commenting on the matter, some stakeholders in the state decried what they described as unprecedented corruption and criminal amassing of wealth by public office holders in the state.
They wondered how a public office holder could have such money in his residence, describing the anti-corruption war in Nigeria as a joke.
“My brother, you have not seen anything yet. This state is very corrupt. The government is corrupt, if not, how did an SSG get that kind of money, not to talk of having it cash in his house? How much is his monthly salary? These are the things we are talking about. We are not yet ready to fight corruption in this country. Come to think of it, now, where is the money? Nobody is talking about it and they want to use it as evidence.”
He however called on the anti-corruption Agencies in Nigeria to step in and investigate the matter, with the view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
Atlantic Reporters investigations revealed that following the former SSG’s absence in his residence during the raid, his wife was made to sign some documents, acknowledging that the said money was found in her residence.
The money is said to have been kept in the joint custody of the State Security Services and the Police in the state.
Findings made within the security agencies revealed that although a preliminary, but quasi-formal report was made to the authorities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the state, no proper documentation has been made in the Commission in the bid not to allow the matter escalate in the meantime.
Top government functionaries in the state who were contacted for comments preferred to keep mum, even as the state Commissioner for information could not be reached. Efforts at getting the authorities of the Akwa Ibom State Police command to speak on the matter proved abortive.
More details underway!