Sunday, November 28, 2021

Group calls for arrest, prosecution of Akpabio over manipulation of Akwa Ibom senatorial election

The Election Transparency Group (ETG) has called for the arrest and
prosecution of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill
Akpabio, over his involvement in falsification of results of the Akwa
Ibom northwest senatorial election in 2019.

A High Court in Akwa Ibom State had sentenced Peter Ogban, a professor
of soil science at the University of Calabar, to three years in prison
for manipulation the election results.

Ogban was the returning officer in the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial
election in 2019. He was prosecuted by the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) and found guilty of altering results of
the election to favour Senator Akpabio who was the All Progressives
Congress (APC) candidate against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
candidate,  Senator Chris Ekpeyong.

ETG, in a release issued on Saturday and signed by its Convener, Dr.
Kazeem Adekunle, asked how the INEC returning officer will be jailed
while the person for whom he committed the electoral fraud is a
minister.

The group said it is on record that Akpabio was the mastermind of the
criminal act for which Prof Ogban was jailed.  He (Akpabio) was the
beneficiary of the fake over 61,000 votes recorded for APC in Essien
Udim Local Government where 19, 455 voters were accredited.

It is our opinion that it is hypocrically on the side of INEC for the
commission to have prosecuted only Prof Ogban, leaving Senator
Akpabio, who was the mastermind and beneficiary of the electoral fraud
untouched.

That the same Akpabio is even occupying the exalted office of a
Minister and member of the Federal Executive Council is an insult on
the collective sensibility of Nigerians.

It is also another clear confirmation of the deceit in President
Muhammadu Buhari’s to fight against corruption.

We therefore demand that Senator Godswill Akpabio be arrested and made
to face trial for being the sponsor of the criminal act on which the
executioner, Prof Ogban has been jailed.

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