Group warns YPP guber candidate to excuse Udom in party legal travails
Isaac Job, Uyo
A group under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Integrity Alliance has warned the governorship candidate of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) senator Bassey Albert Akpan to leave governor Udom Emmanuel from their party legal tussle.
The group also admonished senator Akpan and his supporters to desist from further blackmail and smear campaigns against the governor with regards to the current legal fireworks in YPP in the state bothering on the eligibility of their gubernatorial candidate to contest 2023 general election in the state.
Albert; the YPP governorship candidate in the state and his supporters had accused governor Udom Emmanuel of meddling in the party legal tussle waiting for determination at the federal High court in Uyo.
YPP supporters have alleged that governor Emmanuel has influenced the awaited judgement to pave way for PDP to contest the 2023 governorship election without opposition in the state.
Reacting to the allegation against governor Emmanuel, the chairman of Akwa Ibom Integrity Alliance Barr Stephen Abia described it as unfair and uncharitable for the embattled senator to transfer blames of his travails to the doorsteps of Governor Emmanuel who neither originated the charges nor even knows of the facts of the case.
Abia stated that to link Emmanuel or directly blame him for the probe of Bassey Akpan’s financial impropriety, was devilish, wicked and malicious.
He said Albert’s problems of financial impropriety started when Emmanuel was not the governor of the state.
“From investigations by our team of professionals, Governor Emmanuel was not in office as Governor, when the case of bribery and corruption against Bassey Albert Akpan commenced.
“The case was purely on the heels of a probe of the infamous alleged slush funds against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, where part of the funds were allegedly linked to a certain Jide Omokoro who confessed during investigation that he used the funds to bribe Senator Albert Akpan through car donations amounting to N204million to get contracts.”
He recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested and detained Senator Akpan over cars that he had allegedly received as bribe from Jide Omokore while serving as Akwa Ibom Finance Commissioner and Chairman of the State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
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He said Investigations from the Anti Graft Agency which was made public showed that Omokore’s companies – Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy – received contracts from Senator Akpan’s InterMinisterial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee and the EFCC claimed the vehicles were used to bribe Akpan.
“We have discovered that it is only on the basis of jurisdiction that the case could not be decided a long time ago when the trial was conducted at Justice O.A. Taiwo presided Federal High Court in Lagos, hence the case was reassigned to the federal high court in Uyo in line with Senator Albert Akpan’s argument that the offence took place in the state.
“When he was testifying at the High Court, Senator Albert admitted receiving the car bribe from Omokaro and further brought some members of his campaign team as witnesses that they were given the contentious vehicles to campaign for Albert’s elections in 2015.
“Throughout the duration of this trial and till this moment, there is no record that the Akwa Ibom State government was a party in the case, nor can it be said that Governor Emmanuel or any of his appointees had testified in the case. It is therefore worrisome that Senator Bassey Albert would come out to castigate the Governor for a sin he allegedly committed when Governor Emmanuel had not assumed office”, the group enthused.
According to Barr Abia, himself an indigene of Ibiono Ibom local government where Bassey Albert also hails from, the people of Ibiono Ibom have disassociated themselves from the corruption allegations against their son, and are also ready to remain in support of the transparent leadership of Governor Emmanuel, which has brought about monumental feats in the State since 2015.
He, therefore, appealed to YPP and supporters to exonerate Governor Udom in their present legal travails in the state.
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