Ex-EFCC Lawyer Sues Akwa Ibom Governor Over 13% Derivation Refunds

Mr. Udom, The Akwa-Ibom State Governor

A former lawyer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nkereuwen Mark Anana, has dragged the Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, before the Lagos division of Federal High Court, seeking to know how the 13 percent oil derivation refunds aid received from the Federal Government was utilized.

Anana in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/423/23, listed the State Governor, the State’s Accountant-General and Accountant-General of the Federation, as first to third defendants.

In the suit, Anana who is now a Principal Partner of Anana, Anana & Associates, is asking the court to determine the followings: “Whether Akwa lbom State is a public institution that by virtue of Section 2 (1) and (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, is entitled to keep information about all her activities, operations and businesses. 

“Whether by virtue of Sections 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of information Act 2011, the Govemment of Akwa-Ibom State headed by Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel is entitled to document information relating to receipts and expenditure of public or other funds of the State. 

“Whether the plaintiff is by virtue of the Freedom of information Act 2011, entitle to seek before the Court information from the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, on all her activities, operations and businesses. 

“Whether the plaintiff is entitled to seek before the court information from Akwa Ibom State Government on the income and expenditure of the 13 percent oil derivation refunds aid by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Government of Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Governor Udom Gabriel emmanuel. 

“Whether the plaintiff is entitled to seek before the Court information from Akwa Ibom State Government on the income and expenditure whatsoever derivable by Akwa lbom state Government from Internally Generated Revenue, Federal Monthly allocation, Ecological Fund etc. 

“Whether the plaintiff is entitled to seek before this Honourable court information from Akwa ibom State Government on the capital projects embark upon by the government of Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the location of the projects, the cost of the projects and the contractors of those projects from inception till date.”

Anana stated that if the above are determined in affirmative, urges the court for the following reliefs: “a declaration of the Court that by Sections 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of Information Act, he is entitled to seek before the Court information from Akwa Ibom State Government on the income from Internally Generated Revenue of Akwa Ibom State, Monthly Federal allocation to Akwa Ibom State, Ecological fund paid to Akwa Ibom State and 13 percent oil derivation refunds from the Federal Government of Nigeria to Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. 

“A declaration that by Sections 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of Information Act, he is entitled to seek before the Court information from Akwa Ibom State Government on how the 13 percent oil derivation refunds paid by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the government of Akwa Ibom State, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Akwa Ibom State and Monthly Federal allocation to the government of Akwa lbom State is and or expended. 

“A declaration that by Section 2 (3)(v) of the Freedom of Information Act, he is entitled to seek before the Court information from the Government of Akwa lbom State on the capital projects embark upon by her under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the location of the projects, the cost of the projects and the contractors of those projects from inception till date. 

“An order of the court compelling the Accountant General of the Federation, to disclose to him, in writing, the total amount of money paid as 13 percent oil derivations refund and Federal Monthly allocation to Akwa lbom State Government, under the leadership of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel by the administration of President Mohammady Buhari. 

“An order of the court compelling the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State to disclose to him in writing, the total amount of money generated internally, Federal Monthly allocaton from Federal Government of Nigeria and 13 percent oll denvation refunds realized and of paid to Akwa ibom State withn the d pensation of Governor Udom Gabnel Emmanuel as Governor of Akwa lbom State. 

“An order of the court compelling the Governor of Akwa ibom State, the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State to disclose to him in writing on how the 13 percent oil derivation refunds from the Federal Government of Ngena to Akwa Ibom State, Internally Generated Revenue of Akwa ibom State and Monthly Federal allocaton to Akwa bom State is expended under the leadersh p of governor Gabriel Emmanuel  Edom. 

“An order of the Court compelling the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, the Accountant General of the Akwa ibom State to disclose to him in writing any other money received by the Government of Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Governor Udom Gabnel Emmanuel. 

“An order of the Court compelling the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, the Accountant General of Akwa ibom State to disclose to him in writing the ‘Capital Projects’ embork upon by the government of Akwa ibom State under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the location of the projects, the cost of the projects and the contractors of those projects from inception till date.”

Anana, a citizen of Akwa lbom State, in his 35-paragragh affidavit in support of the motion stated that sometimes in November, 2022, in Rivers State of Nigeria, at the venue of the inauguration of the Nigerian Law School Rivers State, the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, informed the public that the source of money he used in carrying out developments and projects in Rivers State including the Nigerian Law School recently built by his government in Rivers State, is mainly from the 13 percent oil derivation monies which accrued to Rivers State of Nigeria, as oil producing State. Adding that the 13 percent oil derivation monies that were not paid to the Niger Delta States since 1999 President Mohammadu Buhari’s government approved and paid it in his tenure. 

He averred that the money he used in developing the state is not from FAAC (Federal Account Allocation Committee} money but money paid for Rivers State, Akwa-Ibom State, Delta State, Edo State. Bayelsa State. Adding that since 2019 till date, Governor Nyesom Wike has commissioned the 9 flyovers and that between now and February 2023, he will commission the 12 flyovers. He adds that that Governor Wike stated that as part of that money he built Cancer Center through Julius Berger company at the cost of N25. 9 billion named after Dr. Peter Odili which cost of the project he paid in full. 

Anana stated that Akwa Ibom State is located in the Southern part of Nigeria and one of the Niger-Delta States being an of producing State, adding that as a fact that Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, had never prior to governor Wike’s revelation disclose that Akwa-ibom State has received such money from the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

He further averred that he know as a fact that the Governor of Akwa Ibom State hid this fact from the people of the state until Governor Wike exposed it. Adding that as a fact, the Governor of Akwa ibom Stale, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has not made any publication or speech in denial of receiving the 13 percent oil derivation refund after the disclosure by Governor Nyesom Wike.

He averred that he instituted this action to compel the first to third defendants to release information on the amount paid to the Akwa lbom State Government as her 13 percent oil derivation monies and other monies realized, coming into the treasury of Akwa ibom State Government under the leadership of governor Udom Gabnel Emmanuel. 

He further stated that several projects have been abandoned by the Udom Emmanuel administration in Akwa lbom State vis Ibom airport road expansion, Ibom Science/industrial Park, several drainages in Uyo the State capital have been abandoned, the International worship center has been abandoned, peacock paint factory which he claimed to have revived has been abandoned, coconut refinery abandoned, Itu automobile assembly plant/ factory abandoned etc. And that the General hospital otherwise known as Cottage Hospital, built and abandoned uncompleted by the previous government of Akwa lbom State in Ukanafun Local Government has also been abandoned by Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. 

The plaintiff further averred that there is so much poverty in Akwa Ibom State and that gratuities of retired public and civil servants some of which have not been paid. And that it was in the middle of this that the said governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel sought nomination from the Peoples Democratic Party to contest for president of this country. 

Anana said 99 percent of the roads in Ukanafun Local Government, Oruk Anam Local Government, Ibiono Ilbom Local Govemment and other local government of the State have not been tared, there by making life difficult for transporters and other road users during raining season. While old women and men suffer to access markets during core raining season because of poor road infrastructure in the State. 

He stated that he had sent a letter dated November 30, 2022 through DHL to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2011 requesting for information on the income and expenditure of Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. 

He also stated that he sent a letter dated November 30, 2022 through DHL to the State’s Accountant General, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2011 requesting for information on the income and expenditure of Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. While he also said he sent a letter dated January 11, 2023 through DHL fo the Accountant General of the Federation pursuant to the Freedom of information Act 2011 requesting for information on the Federal Monthly allocation to Akwa Ibom State Government and 13% derivation fund paid to the Akwa Ibom State government under the leadership of governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. 

Anana stated that it was only Accountant General of the Federation the replied to his letter but did not provide the information sought for. While both Akwa-Ibom State Governor and his Accountant General, have wrongfully denied him the information sought for.

He stated that the refusal of the defendants to release the required information is unlawful, criminal and detrimental to the political. economic and social growth of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria as a whole. Adding that the defendants’ refusal to release the said information, shows lack of transparency and accountability and indicates high level corruption in their respective public offices. 

He stated that there is a connivance between defendants not to release the needed information contrary to the Freedom of Information Act. And that there is urgent need to compel the defendants to release the required information to him, as the three defendants are not greater than the laws of this country. 

The plaintiff averred that without proper accountability, the Governor of Akwa lbom State is prepared to run away with the State resources Andis at the verge of running away with the State resources and funds. 

Anana stated that the suit is in the interest of justice to resolve all the questions put forward for determination in his favour.

The defendants are yet to file any response to the suit, while no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit