A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over her alleged involvement in a solar power electrification scam in Akwa Ibom State.
Etteh, who is the only woman to have been elected as a Speaker in Nigeria, was arrested by the anti-graft agency for quizzing in Abuja on Tuesday and as of 9 pm, was yet to be released.
She allegedly got a share of N130 million of a shady contract worth N240m awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2011.
The money was reportedly transferred into her personal account with the former speaker unable to explain why she was sent the money meant for NDDC projects.
A top EFCC official said, “Etteh is currently in our custody. What happened was that in 2011, the NDDC awarded a contract of N240m to Phil Jin Project Limited for the supply of solar powered street lights in some communities in Akwa Ibom.
“Shortly after the contract was awarded, the firm got N34m as an initial sum. Two weeks later, they received N253m, a total of N287m. This is despite the fact that the contract itself was worth N240m.
“Etteh is not a director in the company or a contractor. But the company paid her N130m. So, she was invited to explain what the money was for and she has been unable to do so. It is either the company is fronting for her or there are some shady deals. We cannot ascertain the execution of the contract in any case.”
Etteh was elected Speaker in 2007 but resigned only after a few months amid allegations of financial misappropriation.