Minister, Niger Delta Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has refuted media reports that his ministry disposed of six vehicles costing 90million Naira for a paltry 2 million Naira, less than a year after acquisition, saying, “those vehicles were sold in 2015, when I was still a Senator of the Federal Republic”.
A release by Akpabio’s Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, quoted the Minister as saying that “no vehicles were sold under my watch as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. But the media use my picture when publishing the story as if I was the minister in 2015. Those vehicles referred to were purchased in 2014 and disposed of in 2015.
“It is very unfair for the media to keep using my photograph to illustrate what happened long before I was appointed a Minister, thereby, sending very wrong information to the unsuspecting members of the public as if the vehicles were sold under my watch,” he stated.
It could be recalled that the probe on the sales which was carried out by the Senator Mathew Urhoghide-led Senate Committee on Public Accounts had relied on the 2015 Report of the Auditor General for the Federation and demanded that the Accounting Officer of the Ministry (Permanent Secretary) should be sanctioned for illegally disposing of those vehicles.
In line with government procedures and regulations, the Permanent Secretary at that time definitely has a lot of explanations to make on the what happened.