Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has explained that his appearance before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the weekend was not an arrest, as widely reported by the media.
Akpabio, who spoke in Abuja on the matter, however, urged his supporters to be calm and obedient.
“I was invited by the EFCC, but that was a long time ago, just before my accident, and I said okay that when I am fit that I will go to see them to respond to the allegation that they said a young lawyer wrote petition against me. So, when I was chanced on Friday, I went there on my own to listen to them, go through the petitions, and made my response; and thereafter, I was allowed to go, and I was admitted on bail. I think that is in line with their procedure. So, it wasn’t a function of an arrest.
“It was a voluntary decision on my part as a law-abiding citizen to go there. That is why when I heard that some youths were very disturbed in various parts of the Niger Delta. It wasn’t a problem. I feel as a law-abiding citizen people write petitions against you. As a lawyer, we believe in let the other side be heard.
“The problem we have is the way sometimes things are publicised. Allegation is not guilt, and then, of course, the blotted figures that we see. If somebody has a petition against you for 20 billion, they will write 200 billion or 10 billion; they will then trillion it. It goes all over the world that so, so person is a standing trial.
“In fact, it is almost like judgment, the way the press reports it. Outside that, I think it is a civic responsibility, and the right thing for me to do as a senator is that, if a petition is written against me, I should go and answer so that they will have an informed judgment; but that does not mean that is admission of guilt, no,” he said.
The Deputy Minority Leader, while maintaining that the alleged missing money is still in the coffers of the State, spoke on some of the achievements of his government.
“I just want to urge all my people in Akwa Ibom State, who probably were disturbed, to know that such monies were not missing from the coffers of the state. That is the simple truth; and, if we had such additional sums as he mentioned, we would have done more for the state.
“It is unarguably accepted worldwide even by the international comity that my eight-year tenure was a revolution in infrastructure, in human capital development in education. Many of you are not even aware that I even built a state university in 2010, and by the time I was leaving office in 2015, I graduated the first set of students.
Many people are not aware of that, not to talk of the flyovers all over Uyo, 37 bridges constructed. We are now looking at three brand new international hotels: Le Meridian Hotel, the Hilton Hotel, the Sheraton Hotel.
When all of them are put to use, they are economic enablers. Then, we have the hospital, which is about five stories, the hospital, it will take you about three hours to go through the ground floor,” Akpabio added.
– Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja