The Nigerian movie industry otherwise known as Nollywood is poised for a showdown as the Association of Nollywood Core Producers,ANCOP, has petitioned EFCC and SFU over the N50 million largesse donated by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State to support the industry.
The association is alleging massive fraud in the disbursement of the fund. It has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) to investigate the matter.
According to a copy of the petition made available to HVP, signed by the association’s President, Comrade Alex Eyengho, the group is asking the agencies to invite the National President of the Association of Movie Producers, AMP, Zik Zulu Okafor, the National President of the Directors Guild of Nigeria, DGN, Andy Amenechi; the Secretary General of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Yakubu Abubakar and actress Stephanie Okereke- Linus Idahosa for obtaining the fund and disbursing it without the consent of the industry’s stakeholders.
Part of the petition dated August 19, 2013 and addressed jointly to the EFCC and SFU, read thus:
“On June 15, 2013, news broke out that some Nollywood stakeholders under the auspices of a non-existent ‘Guild of Nollywood Stars’ visited Governor Akpabio in his office in Uyo for the purpose of collecting the N50 million pledge to Nollywood.
“The Governor presented to the visitors a prototype post-dated (25-06- 2013) Zenith bank cheque number 00063639 with Akwa Ibom State Government as the account name, issued in favour of Guild of Nollywood Stars. “We also gathered that the Governor, in his usual generosity, gave each of the visitors N500, 000 cash. “Expectedly, the massive publicity given to the entire episode by the press generated heated debates. In fact, it polarised the industry till today.
“Suspecting fraud, ANCOP immediately raised the red flag when it queried the use of a non-existent ‘Guild of Nollywood Stars’ to access the N50 million pledge, by those who visited Governor Akpabio.
“We are demanding that you immediately commence a full-blown investigation into the alleged fraudent act over the N50 million Governor Akpabio gave to Nollywood to carry out a specific task but now domiciled in the account of one of the the over 30 associations and guilds in Nollywood…Sir, anything short of this is an invitation to anarchy in Nollywood.”