Governor Godswill Akpabio has summarily dismissed three stewards working at the Akwa Ibom State Governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, over their complicity in the disappearance of bundles of mint-fresh dollar notes valued at over $250,000 (N40 million) kept in the governor’s bedroom, according to Saharareporters.
Akpabio, it was learnt, gave the order for their sack on Friday after he personally detected on Wednesday, during his visit to Abuja, that bundles of the foreign currency he left in his bedroom had been stolen while he attended a mid-term report dinner with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock Villa.
According to the report by Saharareporters, the missing dollars, kept in drawers in the governor’s bedroom, were excesses from a trough of hard currency stashed away in a private security safe in the lodge.
The report says Governor Akpabio expressed shock at the theft despite the near impregnable security in the lodge, coupled with the fact that the locks to that section of the lodge, including the governor’s bedroom, were routinely changed each time such large amounts of cash is brought in.
Although it was not confirmed if the sacked aides actually stole the funds, the report said they are being punished for “apparent negligence in allowing the real culprits to gain access to the otherwise restricted area of the lodge”.
The report also quotes a source close to the governor’s lodge as saying more heads might roll as investigations continue to unravel the real culprit(s) involved in the theft of Mr. Akpabio’s money.
Pilfering of huge cash in the lodge has become a recurring act the report adds, and cites one instance where bundles of cash developed wings under similar circumstances.
According to the source quoted by Saharareporters, “The burglary proof and window protectors around the governor’s apartment were changed sometime last year after the perpetrators broke through the ceiling to gain access to the room where cash was stacked in ‘Ghana must go’ bags”.