Group Wants Akpanudoedehe Released

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ABUJA, July 08, (THEWILL) - A socio-political pressure group, Akwa Ibom Good Governance Project (AKGGP) has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan on an impending violence allegedly orchestrated by the sitting Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Godswill Akapbio.

In a letter to Mr. President titled, "Imminent Threat To Violence-Free And Credible Elections By The Politically Motivated Arrest And Detention Of Senator James John Akapnudoedehe by Governor Godswill Akpabio Of Akwa-Ibom State: An Appeal For Intervention", the National Coordinator of the AKGGP Mr. Barrister Andem E. Ndem who signed the petition said the actions, conduct and excesses of Governor Godswill Akpabio are capable of heating up the polity, and may threaten the federal Government’s avowed commitment to free, fair and credible elections come 2011if not checked.

The group said it was concerned about the politically motivated arrest and detention of Senator James Akpanudoedehe on Thursday, June 08, 2010 by the Nigeria Police Force, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja on the strength of a petition by Governor Godswill Akpabio-led administration alleging that the distinguished Senator sent the assassins that snuffed the life out of late Mr. Paul Inyang (a former PDP national officer) during a church service on Sunday, June 20, 2010 in Ibesikpo-Asutan Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.

"It is our firm view that this is nothing but a politically motivated charade orchestrated by Governor Godswill Akpabio in one of his numerous acts of political desperation intent upon scuttling all opposition to his underserved bid for a second term in office at all cost", the petition said.

The group further posited that the security situation in Akwa Ibom State has hopelessly deteriorated with the Akpabio-led administration watching helplessly in apparent admission of lack of capacity to handle outright conspiracy designed to deploying the instrument of fear and intimidation to silence all political opponents.

The group further alleged that the theory of Governor Akpabio and his co-conspirators that the late Paul Inyang attended the Eket rally of Senator Akpanudoedehe and caused the widely reported phantom disruption was a lie as the late Inyang never attended the rally, puncturing any insinuations by Akpabio that Senator Akpanudoedehe sent hired assassins after him.

The group however blamed the Nigeria police for their lopsided investigation on the matter, adding that the police was heavily compromised.

The group also said that it would not have bothered if Senator Akpanudoedehe was known to be a criminal because the law must take its course, but nonetheless reasoned that the distinguished Senator has been a very decent politician with good political track record.

Commenting further on his credence, AKGGP said he is the only Akwa Ibom man alive who has been a Local Government Chairman, Senator-elect, Senator and a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria all packed into a short space of time who had cause to undergo security clearance at several stages of his political career, stressing that from his early days as Uyo Local Government Chairman, to his days as Senator-elect and then to Senator and also Minister of State of the Federal Capital Territory as well as Chairman of the Governing Council of a Federal Institution, none of the security agencies has spotted any criminal tendency such as he is being presently accused of.

They have requested President Jonathan to ask the Nigeria Police to unconditionally release Senator Akpanudoedehe while proper investigation continues apart from the immediate removal of the present Akwa Ibom Commissioner of Police in view of his partisanship vis-à-vis the forthcoming 2011 election.

The group also demanded the review of previous Security Reports on the Akwa Ibom State situation vis-à-vis the vocal complaints to security agencies before now by Senator Akpanudoedehe concerning the possibility of being framed up and the review of the report of this investigation by sister agencies like the State Security Service among others in view of the loss of confidence in the Nigeria Police Force’s lopsided investigation.