The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun investigation into alleged N184 million fraud involving Rock Marine Services Ltd, an oil servicing firm, while exonerating four officials of the Akwa Ibom state government.
The Managing Director of the firm, Engineer Essien Elijah had earlier petitioned four officials of the state government namely the Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Orman Esin, the Technical Assistant-Bureau of Technical Matters, Mr. Victor Akai, the Director of Administration, Ministry of Transport and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ekerete Edo, and the Finance Consultant accredited by Bureau of Technical Matters, Mr. Idongesit Bassey.
In the petition Elijah had accused the government officials of swindling his company of over N184m under the false pretence of concession of Marine Terminal at Oron to Rock Marine Services Limited-a call for investigation.”
However, the EFCC, after thorough investigations, exonerated the state government officials but rather subjected the CEO of the company to further investigations.
The former Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum, Mr Orman Esin in reaction said the firm could not handle a project of such magnitude.
He hinted that Essien had approached the state government with a proposal for the development of Oron Jetty in Oron Local Government Area of the State, but failed to meet the government’s demand to produce technical partners and other evidences of competence to handle to job.
Esin said the state government turned down the plan to sign an MoU with the company due to the company’s inability to convince the state of its genuineness.
Reacting to the allegation contained in a report on page 4 of the Sun Newspaper of Wednesday, August 29, 2018, that officials of Akwa Ibom State Government obtained N 184,235,450.89 under false pretence of concessioning the Marine Terminal at Oron, the Akwa Ibom State government in a release by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh states;
“That the Akwa Ibom State Government is In no way committed or indebted to Rock Marine Services”
“That the said allegation is a desperate attempt by Rock Marine Services to slander the State Government in a bid to circumvent due process and unduly influence the legal process”
“That Rock Marine approached the state government for the concessioning of the Marine terminal at Oron, but was unable to show adequate proof of capacity to embark on a project of such magnitude including proof-of-funds and evidence of competence and technical partnership”.
“That the State Government has petitioned Rock Marine Services to the EFCC for thorough investigation and prosecution”.
The Akwa Ibom State government however reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that Akwa Ibom State remains a safe haven for foreign direct investment and genuine investors.