It is official. There is no company known as the Akwa Ibom Refinery & Petrochemical Company. This is the emphatic position of Police authorities at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Milverton Road, Ikoyi in Lagos who declared at the weekend that, Akwa Ibom Refinery and Petrochemical Company Ltd, never existed. This discovery is however coming after conmen had allegedly siphoned a whopping $29.2 Million public money using the company as conduit-pipe.
Police investigators disclosed also that findings at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) have revealed that there is no company in their record called, “Akwa Ibom Refinery and Petrochemical Company Ltd.”
“There is no company named Akwa Ibom Refinery and Petrochemical Company Ltd. We have a letter from the CAC to that effect. Yet, there are records purporting the existence of the company. There are minutes of meetings and resolutions purportedly passed by the company, and there are agreements signed between this company and the Akwa Ibom State Government through its agency known as Akwa Ibom State Investment and Promotion Council (AKIIPOC)”
Tunde Ogunsakin, a Commissioner of Police (CP) and Chief Operation Officer (COO) SFU, who disclosed this to our Correspondent, added that two Nigerian Banks. FCMB and the defunct Gulf Bank were the financial institutions actively used by the conmen to clean-up the country.
He added that another fictitious company named LYK Engineering Ltd allegedly owned by a prominent Akwa Ibom politician also benefitted from the scam.
Ogunsakin stated that LYK Engineering collected $17 Million to finance letter of acquisition of equities in Ibom Power Company. “So these two companies were the two Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) used by the perpetrators of the fraud to fraudulently siphon funds, massively and with impunity, from the defunct Gulf Bank, which eventually led to the untimely collapse of the bank.”
It was gathered that there are foreigners among the conmen, these include one Gareth Wilcox, a Briton, who was allegedly the Managing Director (MD) of Ibom Power Company and one Peter Lin, a Chinese American, who was the chief operation officer of LYK Engineering Ltd.
Investigation revealed that the duo had since absconded Nigeria with their stolen money.
Police also revealed that, after it was indicted, Ibom Power Company admitted participation in the sleaze and promised to refund the sum of $8.86 Million (N1.2 Billion) being amount allegedly collected to purchase a non-existing gas-turbine.
Could this brand of humungous scam have been created without key government officials deep involvement?