EFCC arrests Akwa Ibom AIDS director over N30m ‘fraud’
A director who had the nerve to steal a whooping N30 million HIV/AIDS funds in Akwa Ibom, has been nabbed.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned one Dr Nkereuwem Etok before Justice A. Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on a five count bordering on abuse of office and money laundering.
According to a report by Punch Metro, the accused, who is the Director and Project Manager of Akwa Ibom State Agency for Control of AIDS, was arrested by the operatives of the Commission on May 23, 2019, following series of reports linking him to embezzlement of N30m AIDS funds.
The amount, it was gathered, was released to his agency in 2018 by the office of the Secretary to the State Government for outreach, sensitisation, HIV testing/counselling and purchase of screening and confirmatory test tie breaker.
Investigations into the matter revealed that the accused allegedly used less than N6m for the purpose for which the money was released and diverted the rest for personal use. One of the counts against the accused read, “That you Dr Nkereuwem Etok between 26th and 28th November, 2018 at Uyo within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being Director and Project Supervisor of Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS did convert a total sum of N24,700,200.00, knowing that the said fund is a proceed of your unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”
He pleaded not guilty to the five counts and in view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Adebayo Soares, prayed the court to remand the accused in prison and fix a date for trial. The court then adjourned to October 16 and 17, 2019, and also ordered that the accused should be remanded in prison custody.