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Akpabio: Court Stops INEC From Issuing Certificate Of Return To PDP’s Chris Ekpeyong

Godswill-Akpabio                                                    Godswill Akpabio

 

By Alex Enumah in Abuja

 

Justice Valentine Ashi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Friday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing its Certificate of Return to Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Chris Ekpeyong, winner of the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Seat in the just concluded National Assembly election.

Justice Ashi gave the restraining order in a short ruling on an ex parte motion filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Akpabio in the suit No: FCT/HC/M/2680/19 and filed on February 28 prayed the court for, “An order granting leave to him to apply for a judicial review for the issuance of a writ of Mandamus, prohibition, injunction and other declarative reliefs sought against the respondent (INEC).”

He also prayed the court to direct the respondent to stay further action “particularly further action in respect of issuance of certificate of return to any candidate in respect of the seat of senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district on the account of election held on the 23rd February, 2019.”

The ex parte application which was supported by an affidavit deposed to by one Daniel Idoko, was argued by Akpabio’s lawyer, Sunday Ameh SAN.

In a short ruling Justice Ashi, held that the case of Akpabio is meritorious and that there is need to keep things in status quo.

“Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to apply for judicial review for the issuance of a writ of Mandamus, prohibition, injunction and other declaratory reliefs against the respondent.”

“Leave granted shall operate as stay of further action of the respondent and particularly in respect of issuance of certificate of return to any candidate in respect of the seat as sought by the applicant,” Justice Ashi held.

While adjourning the matter till March 8 for hearing of the substantive suit, the judge however directed that parties must first address him on the issue of jurisdiction on the next sitting.  (ThisDay)

 

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I Will Expose Akpabio If He Dares Me , Says Ekpenyong |The Republican News

                                                  Dr Chris Ekpenyong

Etim Ekpimah, Uyo

 

A former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Chris Ekpenyong, said he would unleash damning records of Godswill Akpabio’s secret deals if he (Akpabio) continued in his campaign of calumny against him.

Akpabio, a former governor of the state, was alleged to have castigated Ekpenyong (his kinsman) that he deceived him into defecting from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

It was learnt that Ekpenyong, who has been endorsed by the PDP elders and stakeholders to contest against Akpabio for the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial seat, described the allegation as baseless and self-serving attempt to score a cheap political point.

He said, “It sounds childish that someone of that level should make this kind of baseless allegation simply because I am challenging him for the mandate we willingly gave to him in 2015, which he threw away because of selfish interest.

“Assuming someone gave that kind of advice and agreed, it means someone can ask him to go and jump into the river and he would obeyed? If he (Akpabio) continues to attack me, I will unleash his records of secret deals.”

Speaking with hundreds of leaders and coordinators of one of his support groups in Uyo, Ekpenyong Volunteer Movement, on Saturday, he added that it was time for the electorate to be in the lead of rescuing Akwa Ibom and Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District from years of subjugation and underdevelopment.

According to him, the blackmailing antics occur because the PDP stakeholders in Akwa Ibom have taken a decision to enrol him as a consensus candidate to battle Akpabio and erase the sad chapter of years of underdevelopment and misrepresentation of the zone at the national level.

He said, “I am happy that generally, people know Akpabio to be an uncommon liar; he cannot continue to fool everybody all the times with his lies. I want to implore all of you to go back to your various local governments to begin your campaign for effective change in our zone.”

However,  Akpabio’s media aide, Anietie Ekpong, said his boss could not have said such a thing. He asked if Ekpenyong could establish where Akpabio had been alleged to have made the remarks.

He said, “I’m not aware of the statement alleged to have been made by my boss. This is politics season, so many rumours are flying about, especially from sources one cannot trace.

“If I may ask, where was the statement made? Was it at a press conference, release, interview, rally, or where else.”   (Punch)

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BREAKING: Akpabio Meets Buhari In London |The Republican News

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The  Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London. The meeting came at a time there are reports that the former Akwa Ibom State Governor will be defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress this week.

The Head of Digital Communication of the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi, confirmed the meeting between the President and Akpabio in London on Sunday on his Tweeter handle, @toluogunlesi.

Ogunlesi tweeted: “Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West District, and Senate Minority Leader, today in London met with PMB.”

He attached photographs of the meeting between the two leaders.

Godswill-Akpabio-meets-president-Buhari-in-London

President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hand with Senator Godswill Akpabio 

Buhari is currently on a 10-working day vacation. Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, had issued a statement that Buhari would be in London, United Kingdom, throughout the vacation period.   (Punch)

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Alleged N108bn Fraud: EFCC Seizes Akpabio’s Wife’s School

godswill-akpabio

Eniola Akinkuotu and Etim Ekpimah

A school allegedly belonging to Unoma Akpabio, the wife of the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has been seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It was learnt that the seizure was part of investigations into the former governor who has been accused of alleged N108bn fraud during his tenure from 2007 to 2015.

One of our correspondents who visited the school, St. John Paul II School, in Shelter Afrique, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, observed that the school had been marked “under investigation by EFCC.”

It was learnt that the EFCC resorted to marking the school instead of shutting it so that innocent parents and students who had paid school fees would not be adversely affected.

The school, it was learnt, had been under the watchful eyes of the EFCC considering the enormous amount said to have been sunk into its construction.

Although normal academic activities were still ongoing in the school as of Wednesday, one of our correspondents who called at the school observed that a police van was stationed outside the gate.

A senior employee of the school, who refused to disclose his identity, only asked one of our correspondents to observe the ambience around the school.

He added that he was not capable to comment on any development relating to the EFCC and the school’s proprietor.

According to him, the school is serene with normal academic activities taking place.

The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached on the telephone on Wednesday.

However, a senior operative at the commission confirmed that the school had been seized.

“I understand our operatives were recently in Akwa Ibom and did mark a school as ‘under investigation,’” he said.

Efforts to get Akpabio’s reaction failed as his media aide, Mr. Anietie Ekong, failed to pick calls made to his mobile phone on Wednesday night.

Ekong had told one of our correspondents on Tuesday that he was not aware of the seizure and would contact his boss on the matter.

When called again on Wednesday, he neither picked his calls nor reply a text message sent to him, asking for Akpabio’s response.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported in August 2016 that the EFCC is intensifying investigation into the former governor and was planning to seize his properties and freeze accounts linked to him.

The EFCC had written five banks demanding information on Akwa Ibom State finances under Akpabio’s administration.

The commission also invited key members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and serving commissioners many of whom served during the ex-governor’s administration.

A source at the EFCC said, “We have written to Zenith Bank, Keystone Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, and UBA demanding information on the state’s accounts. We are also inviting the accountant-general, the auditor-general, the Speaker and the clerk of the House of Assembly.

“We have traced some houses to the former governor in Lagos and Abuja and it is just a matter of time before we seize them.”

The EFCC had started looking into Akpabio last year when he was first quizzed by detectives following a series of petitions written against him.

Akpabio, who is now the Senate Minority Leader, was accused of embezzling public funds while he was governor of the oil-rich state.

He was accused of lavish spending such that on March 2013, he openly gave N1m each to the six chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party from the South-South geopolitical zone who had converged on Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session and told them to use the money to ‘buy Mr. Biggs’

As the commission was investigating the ex-governor, the Akwa Ibom State Government, headed to a state High Court to get an interim order barring the EFCC from investigating his administration.

The Justice Ntong Ntong-led court on July 15, 2016, granted an interim injunction, restraining the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; and the Inspector-General of Police from investigating the finances of the Akwa Ibom State Government.

The suit was filed on behalf of the state government by the state Attorney General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, who also served under Akpabio and is believed to be loyal to the former governor.    (Punchng.com)

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