No one knows exactly the nature of the crime for which Akpabio was arrested and detained, though some people speculate that it involved money laundering, while others said it was about drug trafficking.
The Secrets of Governor Godswill Akpabio By Thompson Essien
For the past two and one-half years as a governor of Akwa Ibom State, Goodwill Akpabio is walking around and governing running the affairs of the State with loads of secrets on his shoulder. Here are a few examples.
1. As of this writing, there is an ongoing investigation by some indigenes of Aka Ibom State to the speculation that Governor Akpabio was arrested and detained for two weeks by the police in United Kingdom. No one knows exactly the nature of the crime for which Akpabio was arrested and detained, though some people speculate that it involved money laundering, while others said it was about drug trafficking. But informed sources confided that when the incident occurred, Barrister Assam Assam (SAN) had to travel to London to negotiate for the release of Akpabio from detention. Reports revealed that when Assam Assam arrived in London, he had a hard time negotiating with the police for the release of governor Akpabio. But through connections with some British politicians, an unnamed Member of the House of Lords was brought in to intervene before Akpabio could be released. It is said that the incident was reported to the highest authority in Nigerian.
I am told that since then Akpabio has not traveled to United Kingdom, which may explain why governor Akpabio has been sending his deputies to represent him on foreign commitments, as it happened just a few weeks ago, when former Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, in company of Akpabio’s Commissioner for Information, Aniekan Umana, were sent to Phoenix Arizona. Other sources have confirmed that the Federal Government of Nigeria actually put a cap on governor Akpabio never to leave Nigeria to any foreign trip without clearance by the Nigerian government. I cannot independently confirm the story but reports indicate that since July 2009, or there about, governor Akpabio, who used to visit the United States at least once a month, has not been in America.
An investigation on the story is still ongoing, which will bring the actual period that governor Akpabio was detained in the United Kingdom. But Akwa Ibom people do remember that there was a period when the whereabouts of the governor was not known and at the time, his aides refused to disclose his whereabouts. As of this writing, it is said that only very few kitchen-cabinet members of the governor know about the incident, and discussion of it, if it ever occurs, happens behind closed doors and in hushed tones.
2. Last month, governor Akpabio commissioned a publicly funded hospital and named it after his late uncle. At the time, many Akwa Ibom people frowned over the idea of a sitting governor dedicating a public structure for a family member. Information has just been disclosed that the governor also has instituted a memorial fund for the uncle, in which he deposited the sum of N10 billion. The money is not from private donations but the people’s money, which the people of Akwa Ibom State entrusted Governor Akpabio as the keeper. As of this writing, some concerned indigenes of the State are drafting a petition for EFCC to look into the matter, regarding the source of the fund and to ask Akpabio to return the money to the people’s treasury.
3. It has been reported that the salary of state employees for the month of December is yet to be paid. The reason for the delay, according to those in the know, is because the money for the salary of workers cannot be released by the bank, due to the contract terms of the fixed deposit, which the administration entered with the PHB bank. The administration wants to wait till the end of December before the money is withdrawn. That way, a full interest would be accrued on the money. A few months ago, though it wasn’t publicly known until recently, Akpabio’s administration withdrew the sum of $3.1 million of such interest from PHB bank. The money was given to a trusted official of the bank by the name of Emem Etuk, whose husband is a Personal Assistant of governor Akpabio on Petroleum Matters, to carry it to Abuja for undisclosed reasons. When Mrs. Etuk arrived at Murtala Mohamed Airport, she was caught with the money and detained by the police. Informed sources said governor Akpabio spent more than N50 million out of the money to have the case squashed by federal authorities and force PH bank, which initially denied the ownership of the money, to assume responsibility of ownership.
The Voice of the Masses
Defender of the Oppressed
A native of Ibibio Nation, of Ubium Republic extraction