The acting Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Alex Akpa, has landed in the custody of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government of N400m.
An investigation by the commission revealed that the money, which the DG claimed to be an intervention fund for the biotechnology agency, was diverted into private pockets.
Akpa, a professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology, was said to have shared the money with some top management staff of the agency.
In a statement on Wednesday, titled, ‘Microbiology professor in ICPC net over N400m fraud,’ the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, disclosed that Akpa was arrested by operatives to answer questions on “how the said amount belonging to the government could disappear under his watch.”
The acting DG is also facing questions bordering on conspiracy and abuse of office.
The statement read, “His actions are contrary to and punishable under sections 19 and 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“Further investigations into the acting DG’s alleged fraudulent activities are still ongoing and the commission will take appropriate action once they are concluded.”
Our correspondent reports that a civil society organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, had earlier accused Akpa of corruption, adding that NABDA workers had inundated it with reports of the DG’s alleged unethical practices.
Quoting some NABDA workers, HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, said, “All the acting DG (Akpa) does is to allegedly collect from 30 to 70 per cent of project money and allegedly use it for bribes to ensure he is confirmed as our DG/CEO.
“He allegedly tells a lot of lies on national TV as achievements of NABDA when in essence nothing is going on.”