Ex-governor of Akwa Ibom denies bribery accusations

Ex-governor of Akwa Ibom denies bribery accusations


– Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of Akwa Ibom state, has denied he was giving bribes to Supreme Court judges

– The senator is now planning  to go to court to protect his reputation

– The Akwa Ibom state government has also condemned linking Governor Emmanuel’s election to bribery

Former governor of Akwa Ibom state Obong Godswill Akpabio is now a serving Senator

Former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, has rebuted recent reports accusing him of being ivolved in bribery scandal with Supreme Court judges.

Recall that the State Security Services (SSS), arrested seven judges, including two justices of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro, on suspicion of bribery and corruption.

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According to several media resources, Mr. Akpabio, who is the Senate minority leader, allegedly bribed Supreme Court judges to swing the 2015 Akwa Ibom governorship election petition in favour of Udom Emmanuel, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.

The senator described allegations against him as “spurious, baseless and false”. In February the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Supreme Court judgment which declared Mr. Emmanuel winner of the 2015 Akwa Ibom governorship election.

A statement issued by Anietie Ekong, Mr Akpabio’s special assistant on media, reads in part:“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.

Senator Akpabio, as a democrat, 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.

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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 and other senators attended the wedding of the daughter of their colleague, Senator Clifford Ordia.

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.

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.”

The PDP senator accused the rival APC party in sponsoring the story against him and declared intention to go to court to protect his reputation.

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He also stressed that “in the last few years”  the only time he had contact with Supreme Court justices was in December last year. At the time he visited the Chief Justice of the Federation and other judges of the apex court as the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom state government has also issued a statement condemning similar media reports that linked Governor Emmanuel’s election to bribery.

Source : Naij.com