Fraud allegations: Akwa Ibom State Government in lame defence of budget scandal, says figures in 2019 financial report were typographical errors
The Akwa Ibom State Government has again denied the recent media report accusing the government of extra budgetary expenditures in the 2019 budget, saying that there was typographical errors in the Accountant General’s report.
Briefing the press in Uyo, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong insisted that, in making the fraud allegations, the reporter relied on the previous Accountant General report which was defectives because of some typographical errors which was later corrected with the right figures.
Investigation carried out by Akwa Ibom State-based journalists, Abasifreke Effiong and Ekemini Simon and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting had accused the state government of multi-billion naira scandal, “alleging fraudulent budgetary over-expenditure by officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government on the 2019 budget and 2019 Audited Financial statements as statutorily issued by the state Accountant General” of the state.
But Comrade Ini Ememobong”s effort was nothing but a lame defence of the fraif allegation.
The Information and Strategy Commissioner merely buttressed earlier information he stated in a press release that annoucing the press briefing.
The highest the Commissioner and his team could do was to distribute copies of the Annual Report of the Account General with the audited Financial Statements for the Year Ending 31st December, 2019 to journalists at the event.
But a check at the documents under consideration tended to give way to earlier suspiscion that they were hurriedly printed less than 24 hours earlier.
The freshness, the flavour and the gum on documents were too obvious that some journalists at the briefing could not hide their feellings and observations.
The Accountant General of the state was almost an observer at the event as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy dorminated the proceedings.
Even questions directed at the Accountant General were waived by the Commissioner and his team who struggled to dismiss the report with facts and figures.
Details in a moment: