A socio-political group operating under the aegis of Liberated People for Transparency and Good Governance has tackled the Akwa ubok Abasi campaign organization, a group working for Senator Bassey Akpan’s 2023 governorship in Akwa ibom state describing the latest position on their principal incarceration as misguided and unpatriotic.
The group in a press conference addressed today in uyo Akwa ibom state through its President Comrade Enefiok Umoh and Secretary Edet Afia keke made it clear that the law of the land is supreme and no man no matter his position in the society is bigger than the law.
It could be recalled that moments after the federal high court in uyo has slammed a 42 year jail sentence on Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, the Akwa Ubok Abasi Campaign Organisation in a statement signed by the Chairman, Campaign Council, Sir Emem Akpabio, specifically said:
“On Thursday, December 1st, 2022, Akwa Ibom State citizens nay all Nigerians witnessed judicial absurdity in its rarest form. They saw how justice was turned on its head, just to please the powers that be in the State”.
However, the group told journalist the successful prosecution of the Senator by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken a new dimension fueling so much controversies, accusations and counter-accusations in some quarters, and needed to be holistically addressed.
According to the group,” Those loyal to the embattled senator who has been in the case since 2014 are pointing accusing fingers at the state Governor Udom Emmanuel, giving it a political coloration and branding it a politically sponsored travail using interpersonal deceptive theory to whip sentiment and mislead members of the public, the truth of the matter should be restated”.
“The theory so adopted by OBA’S men involves the use of intentional deception which requires greater cognitive exertion than truthful communication, especially when the sender of the message attempts falsification (lying), concealment (omitting material facts) or equivocation (skirting issues by changing the subject or responding indirectly).
Putting the records straight, according the group, “there is need for one to have an understanding of the genesis of the case.
“In May 10, 2010, Obong Bassey Albert Akpan (then the Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Finance) was alleged to have received from Jide Omokore, a business man (who was later picked by the EFCC for questioning,) a BMW X5 (Bulletproof) worth N50 million; in December 2012 another Infinity QX 56(bulletproof) worth N45 million was also received from the same source, and 4 other luxury vehicles worth millions of naira each.
“It is also interesting to note that OBA has directly admitted that he received all the said vehicles, though for campaign purposes, a position that the EFCC vehemently opposed to, as they claimed that those vehicles were luxury vehicles, and were proceeds of corruption, which contravenes section 15(12)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011, as (amended) and punishable by section 15(3) of the same Act.
“Quite interesting is the fact that it was Barr. Leo Ekpenyong, a strong supporter of Bassey Albert (who equally dragged Godswill Akpabio to the EFCC, though he later dropped Akpabio’s case but held on to OBA’s case) that petitioned Bassey Albert to the EFCC since 2014 when Governor Udom Emmanuel was not yet a governor. OBA was arrested; the bullet proof vehicles were recovered and statements of accounts he paid the said monies to were traced, tendered and admitted in court as evidence. He was later granted bail because he pleaded not guilty and continued to battle with the case since then till yesterday when the case was decided.
“Remember, the case was not between Governor Udom Emmanuel or the State or an agency of the state, but was between the EFCC, an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Bassey Albert.
Then, how come OBA’S loyalists are crying that Gov. Udom Emmanuel influenced the case to destabilize OBA’s gubernatorial ambition.
“Gov. Emmanuel has consistently stated that he does not even know the facts of the case and is not directly or indirectly involved since it was the federal government agency that dragged OBA to court and not the state.
The group maintained that the case between OBA and the EFCC, the later has proven beyond any reasonable doubts the need for OBA’s prosecution, based on the evidences so brought before the court.
In their words, “The EFCC has been able to prove that OBA during the period of purchase and collection of the vehicles, was the state commissioner for finance, and the chairman of the Inter-ministerial and Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
“While on the saddle of this committee, he(OBA) paid money into Omokore’s company’s account (and evidence of the payment was tendered to the court by the EFCC), and subsequently took delivery of the vehicles which he admitted to. These are clear evidences which he has not denied.
They further highlighted, “What is the role of Gov. Udom Emmanuel in his travail? The constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria does not give a state governor power to discontinue such case, except the Attorney General of Nigeria who reserves the right to do so. If Gov. Emmanuel had such power, he would have helped him out, especially when political interest did not take OBA to YPP.
Also speaking, Special Assistance Media to Governor Udom Emmanuel Revd Richard Peters said “A cursory look into the character of Governor Udom Emmanuel clearly shows that he doesn’t play politics of bitterness and hatred.
“The Governor is a man that believes in the rule of law and respects democratic principles. It amounts to gross ignorance and strange to attempt to perceive the governor as a vindictive clown, an attempt that has already failed a reality test.
He opined that Governor Udom Emmanuel will continue to play politics with human face and good conscience, and no amount of deceit peddled around can change this glaring fact.