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YPP governorship candidate imprisonment: My hands are clean – Godswill Akpabio

From Joe Effiong, Uyo

Former Minister Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio has exonerated himself from the imprisonment of the Young Democratic Party (YPP) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan.

Senator Akpan was sentenced to 42 years of improvement for corrupt practices perpetrated when he served as commissioner for finance between 2007-2014 when Akpabio was the governor of the state.

Akpabio and Akpan in 2015 moved on together to Senate; while the former represented Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District, the latter represented Akwa Ibom North East (Uyo) Senatorial District, all on the PDP platform.

Their political affinity then, and the fact the originating petition, which eventually nailed Akpan had also been written again Akpabio, allegedly from the same source, might have caused some people to speculate that Akpabio had a hand in the YPP governorship candidate’s elongated incarceration.

But debunking such speculation, Akpabio in a press release signed by Jackson Udom, his chief press secretary, described as preposterous and laughable attempts by some paid agents of some faceless politicians in the state to drag him into Akpan’s current ordeal with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The former Senate Minority Leader stressed that he should be counted out of Senator Akpan’s conviction by the Federal High Court in Uyo, declaring: “if anything, I am sad by this development and those who did it know why they did it.”

The release read; “Our attention has been drawn to a very misleading and mischievous article currently being circulated in the social media by paid agents of some governorship candidates, which attempts to drag the name of former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill into the committal into prison of the Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Senator Bassey Albert by the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo.

“Attempts by some ill-informed fellows to point an accusing finger at the former Senate Minority Leader in a matter he knows nothing about is to say the least, unfortunate, preposterous and blackmail taken too far.

“For the records, Senator Akpabio was not even aware that Senator Bassey Albert had any existing case with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) not to talk of having knowledge of the facts of the matter. He was shell-shocked when news filtered in that the YPP Governorship candidate had been sentenced to 42 years in prison. Those who did this, know why they did it.

“It is nonsensical for the author of this piece of blackmail to admit in one breath that Mr Leo Ekpenyong had similarly written petitions against Senator Akpabio and in another breath claim that the former Governor armed him with documents to nail Senator Bassey Albert Akpan. Did Akpabio also give Leo Ekpenyong documents to write the petitions against himself?

“We want to state for the umpteenth time that the former Minister has no hand nor any knowledge of what Senator Bassey Albert was battling with until yesterday when the news of his imprisonment became public knowledge.

“If anything, Senator Akpabio is sad and he is praying and hoping that the Uyo- born Senator will be exonerated from all the charges at the higher courts in the land.”

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