Following the allegedly sponsored protest staged last Monday by a civil right group at the zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Wuse 2, Abuja, against former Akwa-Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio and the demeaning allegations leveled against him, the act has been described as ‘mere sabotage and sponsored campaign of calumny’.
Findings revealed that the mounting support from different quarters for Senator Akpabio and his adopted APC candidate, Nisma Ekere might have unsettled the sitting governor, Emmanuel Udom of the Peoples Democratic Party.
This is coming on the heels of Akpabio changing camp from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress with the retention of a strong and still growing number of supporters in his trail.
The protest and the allegation leveled against Senator Godswill Akpabio was described as ‘blatant lies and a campaign of calumny orchestrated by the group to pull down the senator, so as to stop him from winning the state for the opposition party in the forthcoming general election’.
The former governor’s allies have opined that “Governor Udom is feeling jittery about an impending loss at the fast approaching poll. Therefore, he has been using every strategy and orchestrated a plan to truncate and demobilize Akpabio and his party’s moving train. But the Senator remains undaunted and unshaken by the false and fallacious allegations by Governor Udom and his cohorts under the aegis of this civil rights group”.
Findings have also revealed that the EFCC is yet to take any plausible decision against Senator Akpabio apparently believing that it shouldn’t be now that the election is fast approaching that they would treat these allegations.
Interestingly, at a recent live television interview, President Buhari declared that he had never interfered in the activities of the anti-graft agencies, EFCC or ICPC in probing anybody including Akpabio.
The Akpabio camp has stated that “there is no concrete evidence to support the civil right group’s claim that the properties listed in the petition as belonging to Akpabio are actually his. Even previous petitions had been withdrawn by their originators because of lack of evidence.
This is not the first time Senator Akpabio has been going to EFCC to respond to petitions against him since he left office as governor four years ago. The protest by the group and the petitioners are pursuing a political vendetta”.
The Senator stated in a recent interview that ‘I went to the EFCC personally to ensure that I answered to the petition and I answered them. I am the most investigated former governor in Nigeria. Go to anywhere in the world; I don’t have a single house that I could sell, whether in the United Kingdom or Dubai. I am one of the few Nigerians who doesn’t operate any foreign account. And I challenge anyone from anywhere in Nigeria to prove me wrong. So, forget about the contrived negative story that you heard about Godswill Akpabio.”
The protest reportedly ended in disagreement as participants in the protest were allegedly spotted at the front of Wuse Central Mosque, fighting over money. The leader of the group was said to have shortchanged other members of the group as against the agreed sharing formula.
It was said that the sponsored protest was hurriedly put together by a top member of the Federal Executive Council who is believed to be scared of Akpabio’s growing popularity in the South-South and the belief that it might affect his already established leadership role and authority in the entire South-South region.