The Akwa Ibom State Government on Thursday described as baseless the alleged indictment of its governor, Udom Emmanuel, by officers of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission over the purported withdrawal of N1.7bn from its treasury.

It said the indictment was tainted with political undertone to smear the integrity of the governor.

A statement by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, said the indictment was a “face-serving attempt by the commission to justify the several illegalities,” it allowed itself to perpetuate against the government by the opposition.

“The attention of the Akwa Ibom State Government has been drawn to the December 5, 2018 publication on Sahara Reporters, an online outlet, alleging an indictment of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and some officers of the state by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission over the purported withdrawal of N1.7bn from the state coffers.

“The alleged indictment by the EFCC is baseless and malicious and tainted with political undertone to malign the integrity of the government of Akwa Ibom State.”

“It is another face-serving attempt by the EFCC to justify the several illegalities it has allowed itself to be used to perpetuate against the government and good people of Akwa Ibom State.”

The commissioner disclosed that the government had instituted a case at the Federal High Court, Uyo, against the anti-graft agency and would not be dragged into public discourse on the matter that was sub-judice.

According to him, the constitution authorised only the state House of Assembly and the state Auditor-General to pry into the financial dealings of a state government, saying it was a mockery of the rule of law for the agency to have allowed itself to be used as a tool for character assassination.

He said the state governor was a professional in financial management and would not be distracted by what he called a “scripted drama by the EFCC.’’

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