Akpabio and his jailed Professor: Why a good liar should have a good memory. By Edem Bassey
“A gecko that abandons its tail in times of trouble will not hesitate to surrender its mother for a sacrifice. That is why no animal goes on an expedition with a gecko”
Senator Godswill Akpabio has not only disowned Professor Peter Ogban, he surrendered the man for a public sacrifice by slamming more charges against him publicly, thereby painting a public picture of him as a bigger criminal than the court did see. This is the tragedy of Akpabio allies. There can be no heavier weight of a divine judgment that should accompany this than Divine justice that Akpabio alluded to in his litany of lies titled “Akpabio breaks his silence on jailed Professor Peter Ogban”. In reality below is the true account of the Akpabio saga :
1). Akpabio lost the senate election because he is not used to elections where ballots are properly cast but usually writes election results in his home and hotel rooms. That however was not possible under Commissioner Mike lgini who before the 2019 election relocated over 23 Polling Units across the entire 31 LGAs, previously located in homes and premises where Akpabio and his followers rigged out the APC Candidate, Mohamadu Buhari in both the 2011 and the 2015 general elections by allocating zero votes to him.
2). He lost his senatorial election and rushed to the Federal High Court in far away Abuja to procure an order to compel lNEC to issue him a Certificate of Return for the election he did not win.
3). He lost at the Federal High Court.
4). He went to the Tribunal and lost.
5). He went to the Appeal Court and lost. Contrary to his misleading social media lies, it was only his own LGA that the Appeal court ordered a rerun but upheld results of other in nine LGAs where he lost.
6). He was rebuked in the judgment by the Appeal court at page 21 and 28 while accepting the evidence of poll officials thus: “…Evidence of INEC officials at the election indicate that there were unprecedented acts of violence and considering the large scale malpractices in the conduct of the elections at Essien Udim LGA as attested to by RW 17 and; other witnesses called by the Respondents (INEC) which the trial Tribunal agrees with by reason of the unsubstantiated claims of the appellants and thus corroborating these acts of unparalleled thuggery, intimidation, ballot box snatching, abduction etc in Essien Udim LGA on the day of the election, l am inclined to order the nullification of election held in that LGA.
l so order”.
Akpabio as the Appellant above made “unsubstantiated cliams” and he lost. That was the kind of terror that Akpabio, using thugs coordinated by compromised security personnel, unleashed on his own LGA of Essien Udim, where he tried to smuggle in over 61,329 bogus votes that he manufactured to upturn the results of the other nine LGAs where he was trailing hopelessly behind his opponent Senator Chris Ekpenyong who was the actual victim of his fraud, if he had succeeded, contrary to his claim that he was a victim.
7). There was no evidence of accreditation on both the Voters Register, Card Readers and no polling unit results form EC8A to support these manufactured votes and were hence rejected.
8). The Appeal Court affirmed the rejection of the invidious votes by lNEC with commendation and ordered a rerun only in Akpabio’s LGA. It affirmed the results of the remaining nine LGAs where Akpabio lost . Essien Udim was the only LGA of the 31 LGAs of Akwa Ibom State where a rerun was ordered because of Akpabio’s deployment of violence during the 2019 general elections.
9) On his alleged over-voting at Obot Akara , his opponent’s LGA where he stated in his social media publication, there was no over-voting but rather Akpabio having lost in that LGA like other 9 LGAs, he wanted INEC to cancel the election result but was rejected.
At the Appeal court here is what the justices of the full panel of the court told Akpabio (Appellant) at page 16 of the judgment: “Where over-voting and other forms of electoral malpractices is alleged, it can only be proved by calling units agents to testify and tender relevant documents. Rather than prove his case as the law requires the appellant through witnesses i.e PW 15 and PW16 resorted to the unorthodox manner of relying on information gained from source other than their own personal knowledge.
This is clearly hearsay evidence and this is not admissible evidence which the court can rely on to come to the conclusion that there was over-voting in Obot Akara local Government.”
As a reminder, Nigerians would recall that on the eve of the election, all commercial buses hired by INEC parked at its Obot Akara office were set ablaze by Akpabio’s thugs to frustrate the conduct of election there but INEC re-mobilized and still delivered election materials to polling units and Akpabio still lost.
10) On the advisory given by the court on the provision of section 27 of the electoral Act on the place of annoucement of election result, Nigerians like members of the League of Professionals would recall that Akpabio having lost the election made it impossible for the annoucement of the official result at lkot Ekpene senatorial headquarters having declared himself unilaterarily as the winner of an election he lost.
The police commissioner then was reported to have said he could not quarantee security there and that was why lNEC was reported to carry out the annoucement and declaration at its state Head Office in Uyo. Did the court cancel the election because it was declared in Uyo INEC office ? How did that affect the outcome of the election? Is it not a common practice since 2007 where because of insecurity, Governorship election Tribunals that were meant to sit in states moved to far away in Abuja ?
11). On the rerun of the 25th of January 2020, contrary to their misleading claim in the social media, Akpabio participated in the election using NDDC funds and the records are with the National Assembly. Again Akpabio lost at his LGA, his Polling Unit, Ward and the entire LGA despite deploying massive violence on the day of the rerun as captured below by a news medium headline based on the report of Security Agencies:
“79 thugs arrested at Akpabio’s Home with 25 kidnapped NYSC members- POLICE
“A total of 25 NYSC members serving as electoral Adhoc officers were rescued from the residence of Senator Godswill Akpabio’s brother during the just concluded rerun elections
A report of rerun elections, signed by the state police public relations officer, Nnudam Frederick, indicated that 79 suspected thugs were arrested at the site of the crime.
The police maintained that, “acting on a distress call that INEC Supervisors and Ad-hoc staff, security agents attached to Ward 10, Unit nine were abducted and the electoral materials seized and diverted to a premises at Ukana Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim Local Government Area, later identified as the residence of one Ibanga Akpabio, the DCP in-charge of Operations, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, DCP Auwal Musa Muhammed swung into action and rescued twenty-five (25) corps members and twenty-one (21) security personnel.
“All the electoral materials (were) recovered and seventy-nine (79) suspects arrested at the aforementioned residence”
The police spokesperson assured that, “Investigation is in progress and further development will be communicated promptly.”
He confirmed that despite the skirmish recorded, the election was generally peaceful with Senator Godswill Akpabio scoring 83,820 votes thereby losing to Senator Chris Ekpenyong who scored 134,717 votes to emerge as the Senator for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District”.
It will interest Nigerians to know that Akpabio ensured that those 79 suspects that KIDNAPPED lNEC staff during the 25th 2020 rerun election that the Nigerian police issued a Statement on, were released within 24 hours of arrest and up till date, the police is still conducting investigation on the matter.
Arraignment, conviction and imprisonment of Professor Ogban
“Professor Ogban worked very hard to steal victory for Akpabio and ended up in prison for the next three years. How has that vindicted AKPABIO ? “
1) How can Akpabio claim that the conviction of Professor Peter Ogban is a vindication for him ? Akpabio did not sue Professor Ogban contrary to his ‘tales’ on social media but it was INEC that ensured the arraignment of Professor Ogban for committing serious electoral offences.
2) Professor Peter Ogban fradulently added 5,000 votes to Akpabio and had been jailed. How is Akpabio vindicated ?
3). The Convict, Professor Peter Ogban, who was compromised by Akpabio was appointed by INEC as the Collation/Returning Officer for the Akwa lbom North West Senatorial election of 2019
4). The Akpabio-compromised convict Professor fraudulently deducted already collated whopping 5,000 votes from Senator Chris Ekpenyong’s votes and added same to that of Akpabio without altering the total votes cast. How ?
5). Whereas Akpabio scored 10, 534 votes and Senator Chris Ekpenyong scored 25,123 votes, this compromised Professor who is now in prison simply dropped the zero(0) from Akpabio’s 10,534 and added five in front of one to make it 15,534 with the fraction of the original figures for both candidates unchanged so that it would not be noticed. He deftly reduced the votes of Chris Ekpenyong by the same 5,000 for Akpabio. Fortunately for Election Integrity there is no perfect crime. The Professor was caught by the lNEC Operation Tracking and Vetting System.
6). At the trial he told the Court that he was solely responsible for the Collation and never mentioned the name of any person that connived with him contrary to Akpabio’s lies in his response circulated in the social media. Professor Ogban worked very hard to steal victory for Akpabio and ended up in prison for the next three years. How has that vindicted AKPABIO ?
7). Two of his colleagues from the same University who acted as Collation Officers of the two LGAs that delivered the results to him, testified to the original results that they delivered to him in forms EC 8C
8) While under the fire of Cross examination to explain the discrepancies of original results figures, he surprisingly told the Court that he wrote the figures on his Returning result sheet on the basis of the sound of the figures pronounced by his colleagues and Not based on the written result sheets delivered to him. The court room was thrown into laughter !
9) But when this Professor, now a prisoner, was asked if the vowel sound of 10,574 votes of Akpabio pronounced by his colleagues to him could be the same sound of 15,123 votes of Chris Ekpeyoung, he admitted they are not the same and his lawyer closed his case and the court adjourned for judgement.
10) On 25th March, the judgment day.
After he was convicted, he became sorrowful and pleaded for forgiveness and mercy but the law had to speak and was sentenced to three years imprisonment with additional fine of N100,000.
In all, Godswill Akpabio was the mastermind of all the electoral violence and the sole intended beneficiary of the manipulations but he failed woefully and in the process ruined the career of a University Don, Professor Peter Ogban who is now in prison and will be there for next three years of his life in a correctional facility. How is that a vindiction of AKPABIO ?
How then is Akpabio vindicated by the imprisonment of the man he paid to falsify election results for him and sentenced to three years imprisonment? How can Akpabio be delusional?
Similarly, another University don compromised by this same Akpabio, Professor lgnatius Uduk, is still on trial on similar and more serious electoral offences in another State High Court in Uyo.
Typical of Akpabio, he has now disowned and abandoned Professor Peter Ogban. He is now accusing the same man he compromised to steal election for him and was nabbed, tried, convicted and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment of manipulating election results. He has lied against Professor Ogban that he sued him whereas Akpabio has no litigation action against the professor who is now in prison. Professor Ogban, was thoroughly used and dumped. That is Akpabio for you!
Why President Buhari should sack Akpabio now !
If there is anyone who has brought the greatest embarrassment and shame to the government of President Mohhamadu Buhari, that person is Godswill Akpabio. If there is one person whose attempted electoral banditary led to the conviction of a professor who will spend 3 years in prison, that person is Godswill Akpabio. If there is anyone in this government who on various video clips on record that abused President Buhari and used the most coustic adjectives to describe and abuse this sitting president before he won election in 2015, that person is Akpabio. If there is one minister who has attracted the most negative controversies that tended to shred the anti-corruption image of this government, that person is Akpabio. If there is one minister who has accused and tarred the entire image of members of the National Assembly as corrupt to the embarrassment of all Nigerians, that person is Akpabio.
If there is one minister who has misled the Federal Government to subvert an Act of the National Assembly that established an Ageny called NDDC to develop his own Niger-Delta Region, that person is Akpabio and the list is endless.
Therefore, if there is one minister that should be sacked from this government urgently, that person is Godswill Akpabio.
We are, therefore calling on President Buhari without further delay to sack Akpabio now to save his government of whatever that is left of its reputation and image.
The conviction of professor Peter Ogban who is now in prison for 3 years is a huge indictment of Akpabio and his continued stay as a minister a big moral baggage to the Buhari government.
Now is the time for AKPABIO to be sacked from this government. Akpabio is a man who will do and say anything to get what he wants but cares little for those he will damage in the process including the president. Akpabio’s propensity for corruption and manipulation is innate and embedded in him. Akpabio is like a Donkey that cannot get rid of its large ears merely by shaking its head vigorously.
*Mr. Bassey wrote on behalf of the LEAGUE OF AKWA IBOM PROFESSIONALS,
IKOT EKPENE, SENATORIAL DISTRICT ,
AKWA IBOM STATE.