Former Akwa Ibom State Governor and Senate Minority Leader Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio has denied any involvement in the alleged bribery of Judges of the Federal High Court and Supreme Court Justices.
The former governor spoke through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Anietie Ekong at the weekend in a swift reaction to media reports (not National Daily) linking Akpabio with alleged bribery of Judges and Justices.
The statement: “The attention of the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been drawn to a sensational story making the rounds in the social media and circulated by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with a screaming headline: “Breaking News! 2015 A’Ibom polls: Fear grips Akpabio over arrest of Supreme Court Justices.”
According to the statement, “the story in its entirety is spurious, baseless, false and the figment of the imagination of mischief makers who concocted it. Their frantic and desperate attempt to link Senator Akpabio with the saga is to tarnish his image in their continuing pull-him-down syndrome, which has increased in intensity since the party lost Akwa Ibom State.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state most emphatically that Senator Akpabio is in no way involved in the alleged bribery of Supreme Court judges and so has no reason whatsoever to be scared over the arrest of the Judges. He has had no contact with any Judge with the intention of bribing them,” the statement continued.
Mr Ekong in the statement recalled that: “In the last few years Senator Akpabio’s only contact with Supreme Court Justices was on December 13, 2015 when as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters the members led by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator David Umaru paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Justice of the Federation and other Supreme Court Justices. After the event which was widely reported the Supreme Court Justices and members of the committee took group photographs.”
“Akpabio as a democrat who believes in the sanctity of the electoral process and so has not been involved in bribing any Judge as it is not in his character to do so. His election as a Senator which was seen as a no contest after a sterling performance as Governor of Akwa Ibom State was widely held as free and fair.”
“Senator Akpabio like many other Nigerians learnt of the news of the arrest of the Judges/ Justices on Saturday while he was in Irrua, Edo State when he along with the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki and other Senators attended the wedding of the daughter of his colleague, Senator Clifford Odia.”
“It is most disingenuous and reprehensible for Akwa Ibom State APC to attempt to link Senator Akpabio to something he has no knowledge of and impute he was gripped with fear when he was busy celebrating with his colleague on the marriage of his daughter in Irrua, Esan Central Local Government of Edo State,” he said.
While condemning the frivolous reports making the rounds on Social Media, Akpabio said: “We condemn it in very strong terms and advice those whose stock in trade and preoccupation is to link Senator Akpabio to every ignominious scheme to desist from such pull-him-down syndrome. It is however sad that Akwa Ibom State APC, rather than wait for the investigation to take its course, have already condemned their son, Justice Inyang Okoro and celebrate his present ordeal.”
“Senator Akpabio will explore available legal remedies to protect his hard earned reputation from being dragged into the mud by political mischief makers. Distinguished Senator Akpabio however cautions all political players to take actions that will sustain democracy and not actions that imperil our hard earned democracy,” he concluded.