Akwa Ibom ready to meet ExxonMobil’s condition for relocation – Governor

The Akwa Ibom State government has responded to ExxonMobil’s explanation on why it cannot relocate its head office in Nigeria, from Lagos to Akwa Ibom where it drills oil.

The company had said in a correspondence exclusively published by PREMIUM TIMES that “Mobil has three businesses in Nigeria which are managed by one Lead Country Manager. It is essential that the headquarters of each of those businesses be consolidated in one office where support services can be shared.

“Lagos offers each of those businesses a convenient and well-suited hub from which all three businesses can be efficiently conducted and coordinated by that manager.”

The three affiliates of ExxonMobil operating in Nigeria are Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (upstream), Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd (upstream) and Mobil Oil Nigeria (downstream).

The argument over the years has been that Lagos, much more than any other state in Nigeria, has needed infrastructure to support the operations of large multinational oil companies like ExxonMobil, that have head offices there.

But critics slam the arrangement, saying it deprives oil-rich Niger Delta host states of huge tax revenue and job support for locals.

The governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, on Wednesday said he knew what ExxonMobil wanted to relocate to the state, and said his government was prepared to meet that condition.

“I know what you want to move your headquarters to the state. If you give me commitment of 24 months, I will provide it,” he said in Uyo at an oil and gas fair.

He said the state deserves fair treatment in oil and gas business.

“Let me say here, let our losses not be the gains of other areas who had never seen how crude oil look like, let our losses not be the gains of our neighbouring countries, let our losses not be the gains of the Western world but let our gains be shared among ourselves,” Mr. Emmanuel said.

“As an oil company operating in Akwa Ibom, if you need to hire a vessel, let it be that if Akwa Ibom person cannot provide the vessel, you can take it from a Niger Delta person and if somebody from Niger Delta cannot provide then you can hire it from any Nigerian. Let our people be given a chance.”

The demands for International Oil Companies, IOCs, in Nigeria to relocate their head offices from Lagos to the Niger Delta region resurfaced recently during the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s tour of the troubled region.

During his visit to Akwa Ibom, Mr. Osinbajo directed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, “to engage” with the IOCs “on the way forward” over the calls for their relocation.

The directive was seen as a major boost to campaigns by Niger Delta States to have oil companies relocate to their states of operation.

“Today, all those impediments ranging from lack of airport, road network, housing, and accommodation have been conquered. They don’t have any excuse not to move their headquarters to Akwa Ibom,” Nduese Essien, a former minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, had said of Mobil during the town hall meeting in Uyo with Mr. Osinbajo.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Udoh, told PREMIUM TIMES that the state government was waiting for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to inform it of the next action after Mr. Osinbajo’s directive.

“It’s a directive that was given by the acting president of Nigeria, and so every company who does business in Nigeria is subjected to the laws, regulations and directives of the of the government of the day,” Mr. Udoh said.

“If the federal government is hell-bent on making it work in line with our demand, then I strongly believe that the federal government will sit down with them (IOCs) and make it work. I strongly believe there will be a compromise somewhere that will make all parties happy at the end of the day,” he said.


Source: Premium Times

Akwa Ibom Police, NAFDAC Smash Fake Bread Syndicate

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) working in collaboration with the Police has smashed a syndicate specializing in producing unwholesome bread with pirated materials in Akwa Ibom State.

Although the prime suspect, simply identified as Emeka is on the run, no fewer than four persons were arrested when the Police stormed the factory at Ekpemiong Itak community in Ikono Local Government Area of the State.

Worried by the development, officials of NAFDAC have sealed the depot, carting away hundreds of fake breads, including fake wrappers and labels of other quality breads with which he used as cover to sell his illicit bread.

The Senior Regulatory Officer (SPO), Mr. Abutu Michael, who led the inspection team on behalf of the head of NAFDAC in the State, Mr. Collins Ogedegbe, admitted that such cases have been rampant in the State.

“We have been handling these kind of cases in the State”, he said, adding that the agency would stop at nothing to ensure the enforcement of quality control regime on food products in the State.

With sealing of the place, the NAFDAC SPO said investigation has begun to ascertain whether the company’s operations complied with the regulatory demands of the agency.

“We are going to check for the company’s name in our documents whether it has been registered; whether it conformed to the regulatory framework”, he explained, adding that if found guilty at the end of investigation, necessary penalties would be slammed on the suspects.

One of the bread brands faked by the company, Gestric bread, belongs to the former Deputy Governor of the State, Obong Chris Ekpenyong.

Speaking on the matter, Ekpenyong recalled that he was moved to investigate when “people started complaining that the quality of my bread is no longer what it used to be”.

“What we discovered was that this company used the name, labels and wrappers of my bread to produce his fake bread, thereby making customers to believe it is my bread.

He, therefore, urged the Police to immediately prosecute the suspects, adding that “if effective action was not taken to check the dumping of illicit foods in the country, people will continue to die of ailments from unidentified sources”.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of Ikot Ekpene, Mr. A.S. Bello, who confirmed the incident, said the suspects would be charged to Court.

He appealed to the civil society to compliment the services of the Police in the task of riding the society of fraudsters and criminal elements by volunteering information suspicious characters in their neighborhoods.


Source: ThisDay

Akwa Ibom Government Signs MoU On Industrial Park.

As part of the drive to industrialise Akwa Ibom and create business opportunities, the state government has reached an agreement with some private developers for the commencement of an industrial park and jetty project in the Ikot Abasi area of the state.

Governor Udom Emmanuel, who headed the government delegation, assured the contractors, 3W Alliance (Ltd) and allied partners that his administration would do everything possible to support the speedy completion of the project which spans five Local Government Areas.

He maintained that he has put in place a structured transaction process that would ensure that the project is sustained beyond the lifespan of his government, saying: “The business is structured to survive no matter who is in the saddle tomorrow”.

Stating that natural resources are useless if not properly harnessed into effective productivity, Governor Emmanuel affirmed that he has extracted support for the project from the host communities.

The Governor, who jokingly said that water can only be transformed into wine, depending on who is conducting the prayers, added that he has reached an understanding for an harmonious relationship between the developers and the host communities.

“Before all of us were born, the water was there and it was not yielding dollars to the people, today we want to drive that water to become wealth, and we deserve all the support and cooperation of the public.”

He said the success of businesses depended on reliable infrastructure, security and transparent legislation.

He also expressed satisfaction that the arbitration of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was under the country’s jurisdiction and assured residents that the projects would commence in earnest.

Chairman of 3W Alliance ltd and leader of the delegation, Umaru Abdul Mutallab, while signing the agreement on behalf of the contractors, assured the government of their readiness to urgently execute the project as demanded.

Mutallab, a former Minister of Economic Development said: “We look forward to immediate commencement of the project and we will do our very best to ensure its speedy completion”.

He then commended the governor for his foresight, describing the industrial park as a significant economic investment for the people of the state.

Other partners in the project who accompanied Mr Mutallab included, Emilio Magoni of Impresit Bakolori, Oliver Zheo representing Longxin Group, Jackson Ilusiantei from Nebei Port in China, Emmanuel Okon of Eminence Oil and Chemical and Rabi Momoh who led the team from Heritage Bank, Olojede Alani of New Insurance and Bolarinwa Sanmi of Pan Africa Capital.

Those who signed the agreement on behalf of the state government included the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko, Commissioner for Investments, Trade and Industry Prof. Eno Ikpe and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process Elder Ufot Ebong.


Source: Channels TV

#IStandWithNigeria: Akwa Ibom protest was cancelled because Tuface backed out – Organisers

The much talked-about anti-federal government protest scheduled for today in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, did not take place, after all.

The planned protest, initiated originally by the popular Nigerian singer, Tuface, went on in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, despite Tuface backing out of it.

Throughout Monday morning, till 11.30a.m, there was no single protester at the popular Ibom Plaza, Uyo, where the protest was planned to take place.

When a PREMIUM TIMES reporter visited the plaza at about 9 a.m, people were freely going about their businesses. The amphitheatre at the plaza was completely empty.

Business owners and visitors at the plaza said they did not notice any sign of protest at the plaza.

A man watering flowers around the plaza told this newspaper that he did not see any protester in the area since he came to work by 6 a.m.

There was a police pick-up truck parked in front of a police post at the plaza. But people working or doing business at the plaza said that the police presence was a common sight in the plaza in order to scare away criminals.

A group in Akwa Ibom, Concerned Citizens, told PREMIUM TIMES that they received a police permit for the protest, but that they canceled it because of Tuface’s withdrawal.

“The permit we got from the police covered the protest that was planned by Tuface. Since Tuface announced that he wasn’t going ahead with the protest any longer, we too had to back out from it,” the group’s spokesman, John Ntekim, told PREMIUM TIMES at about 10.37 a.m.

Mr. Ntekim, however, said that some individual citizens would likely go ahead with the protest at the Ibom Plaza in the afternoon.


Source: Premium Times

BREAKING: 4 feared dead as Akwa Ibom, Cross River communities clash

Four persons were feared dead and scores of persons injured in the renewed boundary crisis between Oku Iboku community in Akwa Ibom and Ikot Offiong in Cross River.

Bassey Essien Bassey, a former Vice Chairman of Itu Local Government Area, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria in Itu on Tuesday.

Mr. Bassey said that several persons sustained injuries while over 20 houses were burnt, including a filling station in the age-long communal conflict.

He said that two security operatives were among those who lost their lives, forcing the military to deploy dozens of soldiers to the scene.

Mr. Bassey said that motorists and commuters along the Calabar-Itu highway were delayed for more than four hours until the arrival of security operatives to clear the road.

Ene Essien, a Community Leader in Oku Iboku, said that the latest incident occurred after series of attempts by the people to re-occupy the fishing area failed as they were forced out by the people of Oku Iboku.

“The Ikot Offiong people are fishermen who migrated into our area from Akpabuyo in Cross River State to settle.

“After settling for so many years, they developed the instinct of seizing our land and even expanding more into Itu.”

The community leader added that their “uncomplimentary” relationship with the host community forced them to push them away from the fishing community.

“When they left our community, they settled at Odukpani, but the people also pushed them out of their place in Akpabuyo, because of their warring attitude,” he said.

Mr. Essien said the intractable conflict had lingered for years, leading to intermittent attacks by the invaders from Ikot Offiong.

According to him, the communal crisis started around the fishing area, but later escalated to the Calabar-Itu road when the people of Ikot Offiong returned in reprisal, leading to the death of four persons.

NAN gathered that the invaders returned with armed hoodlums in 11 buses and several flying boats.

It was gathered that they were later repelled by a combined team of soldiers, anti-riot police officers and officials of the State Anti-Robbery and Kidnapping Squad, SARS.

Narrating their ordeal also, two aides to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Essien Ndueso and Joseph Okon, said that they were trapped in the incident while returning from Calabar on official assignment.

They said that the entire area was “on fire” and thanked God they were able to come out unhurt.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Cordelia Nwawe, said that several persons were injured, adding that she was yet to be briefed on those who died in the incident.

“It is not the business of the Police to count dead bodies, our business is to secure lives and property,” Ms. Nwawe said.

She added that normalcy had returned to the area as a detachment of Police Mobile Force 26 and 57, had been drafted to maintain peace.


Source: NAN

Police sue for peace as Akwa Ibom youth clash with Hausa community

The Police Command in Akwa Ibom has urged the youth and Hausa community residing in Etoi community in Uyo to give peace a chance.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, for the command in the state, ASP. Cordelia Nwawe, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN,in Uyo on Thursday.

She also advised communities to learn how to live peacefully.

Ms. Nwawe, who confirmed that skirmish broke out between the indigenes and the Hausa community in Etoi, said that peace had been restored to the community.

The police image maker added that some victims of the fight had been treated and discharged from the hospital.

She disclosed that there were casualties on both sides but that the police did not know the exact figures of the casualties.

“We are not the ones to confirm the dead except the state government or qualified medical professionals,” Ms. Nwawe said.

The spokesperson said the police was collaborating with the state government to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the incident and forestall reoccurrence.

NAN learnt that trouble started on Tuesday night, when a scrap dealer ferrying a generator on wheel barrow, was accosted around the Udo Udoma area of Itiam Etoi by some residents.

A witness, Okon Effiong, said that youth in the area demanded the scrap dealer boy to settle them before they could set him free.

“They asked him for settlement or matching ground, and when he refused to pay, youths resorted to confronting him.

“The minor misunderstanding resulted in brawl and forced a reprisal attack from the Hausa\Fulani settlers in the area,” Mr. Effiong said.

He said that the skirmish occurred at about 10 00 p.m., when many residents must have had gone to bed.

Reacting to the incident, the Head of the Hausa Community in Akwa Ibom, Hassan Sadauki, also appealed to the people to allow peace to reign.

Mr. Sadauki said that the incident was fallout of minor misunderstanding between his people and some ‘area boys’.

“The incident started from just a minor misunderstanding involving my people and the area boys around the Udo Udoma area of Uyo.

“The area boys were asking for matching ground from one of us who was carrying a generator scrap he bought from the people in the area and there was a disagreement,” he said.

Also, the Akwa Ibom Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ndueso Ekwere, in a statement, urged the parties involved to eschew violence.

He warned those fomenting trouble against taking laws into own hands, saying that the police had begun investigation into the matter.

Akwa Ibom Collapsed Church: Roof Contractor Regains Freedom

The roof contractor of the Reigners Bible Church International and Managing Director of White Steel Integrated Services Limited, Mr. Idorenyin Daniel Udoh, has regained freedom after spending 23 days at the Criminal Investigation Department, Akwa Ibom State Police Headquarters.

Mr. Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos based legal practitioner and human rights activist appeared before the Commission of Inquiry constituted by the State governor to probe the immediate and remote causes of the collapsed Church building in Uyo on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 and argued vehemently for the release of his client from custody.

The fiery lawyer informed the retired Justice Umoekoyo Essang-led Commission of Inquiry that his client has been detained unconstitutionally without a charge and that there was no basis whatever in law for the continued detention of his client who he said is presumed innocent until he is proved guilty.

Mr. Effiong cited several legal authorities and referred the Commission to his letter to the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala U. Mani and a publication in the Punch Newspaper of Monday, January 2, 2017 where the police said that the matter was now with the Commission of Inquiry. The lawyer futher informed the Commission that it was unacceptable for the Founder and General Overseer of the Church, Apostle Akan Weeks and other contractors who played prominent role in the construction to be walking freely while his client is detained.

In his response, the Counsel to the Commission of Inquiry and Assistant Director of Public Prosecution in the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Justice, Mr. F. J. Etim opposed the application for the bail and release of the roof contractor on the ground that there was no evidence that the said contractor was in custody. He further said that the Commission cannot be releasing people indiscriminately.

In his reply, Mr. Effiong expressed shock and dismay over the response of the State Counsel who he said did not justify the detention of his client. The human rights lawyer asked whether the State Counsel expected him to produce a video before the Commission showing the contractor in police custody?.

He further said that the Nigeria Police Force is represented in the Commission by an Assistant Commissioner of Police who can easily verify whether his client is in their custody. Mr. Effiong referred the Commission again to the letter he wrote to the Commissioner of Police and the publication in the Punch Newspaper where the Police Public Relations Officer in the State acknowledged the detention of his client and urged the Commission to discountenance the objection.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the Commission Justice Umoekoyo Essang, said that Mr. Idorenyin Udoh will be accompanied by the police to the Commission to give evidence and advised Mr. Inibehe Effiong to approach the regular courts for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of his client.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Mr. Effiong appealed to the Commission to reconsider its decision and order the immediate release of his client in the interest of justice to afford him adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence. He said that it was impossible for his client to defend himself and participate freely in the proceedings while in detention and that the application for the enforcement of his fundamental rights cannot be pursued at the regular courts because the courts were yet to resume from the Christmas vacation.

The Commission subsequently gave an order for the release of the contractor. Mr. Effiong who was at the State Police Headquarters as at 8.00 pm to enforce the order confirmed that the contractor has regained his freedom.

2 killed, 17 injured as stalls collapse in Akwa Ibom market.

Two women were killed while 17 persons sustained various degrees of injuries following the collapse of market stalls at Urua Edet-Obo, a market at Ikot Akpatek in Onna local government area of Akwa Ibom state.


Murtala Mani, state police commissioner, confirmed the tragic incident in a telephone conversation with reporters.


“Two women died during the tragedy, caused by the collapse of an old wall,” he said. “Others who sustained injuries have been taken to the hospital for treatment.”


A witness said the remains of the deceased had been deposited at Immanuel Hospital in Eket, a neighbouring local government area.


The witness added that some of the injured victims, many of them women, were responding to treatment in the hospital.


The incident happened nine days after scores of worshippers were killed in a building collapse at Reigners Bible Church, Uyo.

Akwa Ibom government rejects NSE, SON’s plan to investigate church building collapse

The Akwa Ibom State government has rejected the plans by the Nigeria Society of Engineers, NSE, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and any other interested organisation to investigate the collapse of a church building in the state.

The Nigeria police said 27 people lost their lives, while 37 were injured when an uncompleted structure housing the Reigners Bible Church, Uyo, collapsed on Saturday during a ceremony to enthrone the founder of the church, Akan Weeks, as a bishop.

The building collapsed shortly after the ceremony started around 10 a.m., with heavy iron beams falling on worshipers, including women and children.

The state governor, Udom Emmanuel, escaped unhurt, while the Secretary to the State Government, Etekamba Umoren, the Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, and the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ekerete Udoh, were said to have sustained some injuries.

The NSE and SON have reportedly made public their plans to investigate the tragic incident.

The NSE investigation committee, according to Channels Television, visited the site of the collapsed building.

The committee was led by Charles Ukoh, a former vice president of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN.

Mr. Ukoh was quoted by Channels as saying that his committee would carry out proper investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.

“He (Mr. Ukoh) promised that the committee would present an unbiased report that can be confirmed anywhere in the world,” the TV station reported.

SON, through its Akwa Ibom State Coordinator, Dauda Mshelia, was reported to have also made a similar visit to the site, and took away samples of materials used for the construction for laboratory analysis to find out the cause of the collapse.

But the state government has come out to reject such plans by the NSE and SON.

“Government wishes to urge members of the public to discountenance any purported claims of enquiry or investigations into this tragedy by any organisation or entity,” the state government said in a press statement issued, Wednesday, by the spokesperson to the governor, Ekerete Udoh.

“The Panel set up by Government is made up of seasoned professionals in the engineering and building profession and the work of the panel will be independent, fair and thorough,”

The government barred unauthorized persons or groups from having further access to the site.

The panel of enquiry into the incident will commence work immediately, the government assured.

“We wish to restate for the avoidance of doubt that any persons found culpable would be made to face the full weight of the law irrespective of tribe, religion or status in the society,” the statement said.

“Government is set to streamline the processes involved in the monitoring and enforcement of relevant building regulations, especially with regard to public buildings to ensure that they meet professional standards.

“Henceforth only public buildings which have passed the necessary safety certifications would be allowed to host public events.

“Government is committed to doing all that is necessary to ensure that this unprecedented event never happens again.”

Chris Ekpenyong, an engineer and former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State, was part of the NSE delegation which visited the site of the collapsed church building.

When reporters contacted Mr. Ekpenyong, he said the aim of their visit to the site wasn’t to investigate the incident, but to rather have first hand information before making plans to pay a condolence visit to the state governor.

“We couldn’t commiserate with the governor, without first going to the site to see what happened.

“We are not supposed to set up a panel, it is the government that should do that,” Mr. Ekpenyong said.

Church collapse: Akwa Ibom governor denies aide died while saving him

The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has countered a witness account as reported by Omojuwa.Com here, that his aide died while saving him from the collapsed church in Uyo.

The state is mourning the collapse of the Reigners Bible Church building, along Uyo Village Road, which led to scores of deaths and injuries.

Governor Emmanuel said 26 people lost their lives, while the police had earlier put the figure at 27.

Ubong Mboho, an evangelist, who was inside the collapsed building, told reporters, Sunday, that he saw the governor’s aide, Ernest Idem, push Mr. Emmanuel away from the falling iron beams.

“He (Mr. Idem) was standing close to the governor. I saw him push the governor away from danger when the building started falling,” said Mr. Mboho whose father, Elijah Mboho, an influential arch bishop in Akwa Ibom, was scheduled to ordain the church pastor, Akan Weeks, as a bishop at the ill-fated ceremony.

Mr. Mboho said Mr. Idem was hit by a beam before he could get out of the collapsed building.

Two other persons who spoke on Sunday corroborated Mr. Mboho’s story.

But Mr. Emmanuel said no such thing happened.

The governor, during a solemn assembly held on Monday in the state banquet hall in honour of the victims of the incident, said the late Mr. Idem was a driver who worked “directly in his service”.

He said the late driver “sat elsewhere in another location within the church because he was also a member of the church”.

Raphael Edem, Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the governor, gave further insight.

“On that occasion, as on every event the governor attends, those seated beside him (Mr. Emmanuel) were senior officials of Government while those behind him were security detail,” Mr. Edem said on Facebook.

“There were commissioners, chairmen of boards and commissions, permanent secretaries seated up to four rows behind the governor. My friend Ernest was nowhere around there. I was in that church and I saw those beams and heavy metal and roof come down.

“It is a scene you should pray never to witness as it all happened within a matter of seconds. Do you know the distance between where the governor sat and the exit and that it isn’t possible to push someone that distance?

“Is it possible that someone who wasn’t even close to the governor would somehow manage to jump in between his close body protection detail and push the governor?” Mr. Edem said.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, were among the dignitaries present at the Akwa Ibom solemn assembly.

Mr. Emmanuel said at the solemn assembly that he had to chartered aircrafts to fly in neuro-surgeons to help treat the victims of the incident, and appealed to the federal government for assistance.

The governor told the people of the state not to despair, as God was still with the people.

“The second chance is for everyone and not just the survivors, and we should be more concerned by the account we would render before God, because He will certainly not be interested in our titles and positions,” Mr. Emmanuel was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the state government has announced the postponement of the Ibom Heritage Festival, a three-day cultural event which was earlier scheduled to commence on December 15.

Ekerete Udoh, the spokesman to Governor Emmanuel, said the postponement was in honour of the victims of the church building collapse. He said a new date for the festival will be made known to the public.

How I survived Uyo Church building collapse – Ini Edo

But for divine intervention, popular Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, would have been a victim of the collapsed church building in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

The roof of the Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, caved in during an ordination service on Saturday, klling at least 29 people.

Hundreds of worshippers including the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, were present when the incident occurred.

Ini Edo, who is the Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Tourism, attributed her lucky escape to a missed flight to Uyo.

She shared her “testimony” with her 1.6 million Instagram followers.

“Two days ago, I was very bitter about the unreliable nature of some of our airlines cancelling flights without prior notice thereby hindering my plans to attend a church service ceremony held in Uyo. Now out of determination, I took a flight to Calabar with the hope of being in Uyo just in time for the service since the journey between Calabar and Uyo was just about an hour. The journey ended up taking over 7hrs because of an unexplainable traffic.

“No accident, good road no hitches just a headlock traffic. Whilst in the car, I started wondering why all my efforts to be at the service was being thwarted… then I got a call, that the entire church building had collapsed during the course of the service. Once again, God had saved me. My heart goes out to the families of the departed. May the good Lord grant them the heart to bear the loss.?Every day we see is a blessing. It’s not because we are special or better. It’s the exceeding Grace of our Lord Jesus. I am so humbled and grateful to God for preserving me. Happy thanksgiving.”

Akwa Ibom church collapse: How aide sacrificed his life to save Governor Emmanuel

An aide to Udom Emmanuel lost his life in the process of saving the Akwa Ibom governor from the collapsed church building in Uyo, PREMIUM TIMES has gathered.

At least 27 persons lost their lives, while others sustained injuries when the roof and the iron beams in the building housing Reigners Bible Church, Uyo, collapsed on Saturday during a church ceremony.

The church pastor, Akan Weeks, was to be ‘enthroned’ as a bishop in the ill-fated ceremony.

Ubong Mboho, an evangelist, who was inside the collapsed building told reporters that he witnessed the governor’s aide sacrifice his life to save the governor.

“He (the governor’s aide) was standing close to the governor. I saw him push the governor away from danger when the building started falling,” said Mr. Mboho whose father, Elijah Mboho, an influential arch bishop in Akwa Ibom, was scheduled to perform the ‘enthronement’.

Unfortunately, the governor’s aide, who was later identified as Ernest Idem, couldn’t get out alive; he was hit by the iron beams and he died instantly, Mr. Mboho said.

Two other persons who spoke separately corroborated Mr. Mboho’s story on how Mr. Idem died.

The late Mr. Idem, from Ibesikpo-Asutan Local Government Area, was said to have worked with the Zenith Bank before he joined the protocol unit of the state government when Mr. Emmanuel became the governor.

Mr. Mboho said he was making effort to save his own father – the archbishop – when the incident occurred.

He said the archbishop and his wife were unhurt, but that some persons within his entourage sustained injuries.

The 40 years old Mr. Mboho pulled off his shirt and got involved in the rescue operation as soon as his father was taken away to a safe location, within the church premises.

“My focus was how I could save those who were still alive,” he said.

One of the persons Mr. Mboho said he helped rescue was Emmanuel Ekpenyong, the Chief Whip of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.

“The iron pillar had fallen on his leg. I had to rush to our bus for hydraulic jack which I used in lifting the iron (beam) before we could pull his leg out.

“He was in great pains and was screaming ‘My leg! My leg! My leg!’ while we were making effort to rescue him,” said Mr. Mboho.

Mr. Mboho, in the course of the interview, refuted the information being spread on the social media that the enthronement later took place at Abak on the same day of the incident.

“That is complete falsehood. There is no way my father or any person for that matter could have gone ahead with the enthronement after such a terrible incident,” he said.

The archbishop has remained downcast because of the incident, he said.

“He has been talking to God since yesterday, asking what could been the cause of this calamity.

“The incident is not about Reigners Bible Church. It is not about Akan Weeks. It is about God’s kingdom.

“Please let the church and everyone come together and support the victims’ families, the church and Akwa Ibom State,” Mr. Mboho said.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Murtala Mani, on Sunday confirmed that 27 persons died, while 37 were injured in the church collapse.

A source said that the church choirmaster and his family were among those who lost their lives.

When reporters visited the church, Sunday afternoon, a large crowd of people gathered outside the church perimeter fence to have a look at the collapsed building.

The church gate remained locked. Some police officers were seen inside the premises.

Cars, said to belong to those who lost their lives in the incident, were seen parked around the church premises.

UPDATE: More than 200 people died in the Uyo church building collapse

At least 200 people have been killed in the building of Reigners Bible Church that collapsed in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, on Saturday.

The confirmation was given by Etete Peters, a professor and chief medical director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, where the victims were rushed to.

“We only lost one person in the hospital except those that were brought dead. In circumstances like this, we have been overwhelmed. We need help from government,” Peters told Punch Newspaper.

“Many victims are in private hospitals and mortuaries scattered all over Uyo metropolis; we can’t really tell how many people have died so far. We have over 200 persons in the mortuaries. We do not have space, as people are still being brought in.

“We have done our best to revive some victims. Right now, we have over 50 cases we are attending to. This is the first time we are witnessing such an incident.”

Uduak Effiong, a survivor, gave estimated the death toll at 300, saying 100 of those bodies were close to her.

“I saw over 100 dead bodies. These were the ones close to me,” the victim said.

“From my estimation, more than 300 people might have died as people came from other churches in all parts of the state, including government-sponsored praised singers with uniforms to attend the programme. For some of us that escaped, we only did by the special grace of God.”

Effiong, a Communication Arts student of Uyo university, added that she lost three of her colleagues to the incident.

Udom Emmanuel, governor of the state, could have been a victim himself had he arrived the church early enough, said the government would bear the cost of treating the victims and promised to setup a panel to ascertain the cause of the mishap.

“I was present at the church during the incident and shared in the agony of the moment. Thereafter, I personally supervised rescue operations and evacuation of the injured to the hospital,” he said.

“I directed all emergency organisations, agencies of government and corporate organisations especially the construction companies to be involved in the exercise. They acted promptly and I commend their sense of patriotism and gallantry.

“The State Government will bear the medical cost of all those injured. We note that we have never had such a shocking incident in the history of our dear state.

“Government will, therefore, set up a high-powered panel of inquiry to ascertain the immediate and remote causes leading to the collapse of the building with a view to forestalling the recurrence of such incident and bring to book persons found to have compromised professional standards in the construction of the building.

“We appeal to all citizens to remain calm, pray for the injured and avoid undue speculation as the situation is being given the best possible attention.”

Update: At least, Fifty People dead as church building collapses in Akwa Ibom

Tragedy struck Saturday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital when a church building belonging to Reigners Bible Church International, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, collapsed killing scores and wounded several others.

According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred at around 11am during a special service: “Bishopric Enthronement”, to mark the ordination of its resident pastor, Akan Weeks.

As at the time when the building collapsed, eyewitnesses say the church was filled to the brim and the incident occurred shortly after the offering session, a development that brought the event to an end.

Governor Udom Emmanuel alongside some of his commissioners who were billed to attend the function were on their way when the building collapsed.

When Sunday Nation visited the scene, the governor was seen helping in the rescue operation as many worshippers were trapped under the debris as rescue team evacuate the dead and those that were injured.

An eyewitness said: “This is a disaster. Why today? People have been rushed to hospital while many have been trapped under the structure.”

Security agents comprising men of the Nigeria Police Force: Nigerian Army; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and officials of the Federal Road a Safety Corps, FRSC, were seen condoling off the area to save the lives of those they were injured.

Also officials of the Red Cross were seen attending to some of the worshippers with minor injuries.

When contacted, the FRSC’s Spokesman in the state, Mr. Godsgift Uwen, said officials of the commission were currently at the scene of incident.

When asked the number of casualties resulting from the collapsed building, Uwen said he was not competent to speak on that but ordered Sunday Nation to get the reaction from the Police.

He said: “I am not competent to give you information on this matter for now. I will advise you call the Police Public Relations officer.”

Speaking on the development, the State’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Cordelia Nwawe, could not confirm the number of casualties.

She said: “This is a very unfortunate incident. The governor is safe. A lot of the people are safe. People have been rushed to the hospital. By evening, we will be able to talk about the number of casualties. We are here to ensure that hoodlums do not take over the place.”

JUST IN: Church building collapses in Akwa Ibom, many feared dead

A church building has collapsed in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, with many feared dead.

The Reigners Bible Church, located along Uyo Village Road, was filled to capacity because its pastor was being consecrated as a Bishop, when the tragedy occurred, witnesses said.

“Pastor Akan Week was being consecrated today so the programme was holding inside the Church when suddenly, the whole building collapsed,” one witness said.

The witness said the Church was being renovated and upgraded because of the expected high number of guests on Saturday.

“Many people are buried under the debris as emergency workers continue rescue exercise,” he said.

Governor Udom Emmanuel was expected to attend the occasion, but, sources said he was not at the church when it collapsed.

“The governor has gone to the scene and is presently there helping with the rescue,” a witness said.

Our sources said many victims have been taken to various hospitals and mortuaries in the town.

A source at one of the hospitals, Premier Hospital, said many of the injured were taken there and were receiving medical attention.

A police spokesperson who sounded emotional when contacted by phone, said she could not speak on the matter immediately.

“You need to be here to witness it, there is so much confusion,” she simply said.

More Pictures Below:





Former Minister rejects Etiebet as APC leader in Akwa Ibom

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Akwa Ibom senator, John Udoedehe, has rejected the choice of Don Etiebet as the chairman of the APC caucus in the state.

Mr. Etiebet, besides being a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, was a national chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and commands much influence in the state politics.

The caucus was inaugurated recently in Uyo by the party’s National Vice Chairman, South South, Hillard Etta, at a ceremony which drew large crowd of party leaders in the state, including the Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority and the party’s 2015 governorship candidate in the state, Umana Umana.

The Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, also attended the event.

“How can Don Etiebet be the chairman of the caucus when he is a factional leader?” Mr. Udoedehe said on Friday in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES. “He (Etiebet) is Umana’s supporter.”

Mr. Udoedehe insisted that he was rigged out in the primary that produced Mr. Umana as the APC candidate for the 2015 governorship election which the party lost to the Peoples Democratic Party’s Udom Emmanuel.

Mr. Udoedehe also said that the APC constitution recognised only the state chairman of the party as the caucus chairman, and not an “outsider”.

“It’s unconstitutional. It’s nonsense,” he said.

The former senator said it was not as if he and his “faction” could not work with Mr. Umana and others in the APC, but said that the party had not made any effort to heal the wounds of those who felt betrayed before and after the 2015 election in the state.

“How do you reconcile with a people that are wounded?

“You come into the party. You were not part of the party, and you’ve taken all the positions, you’ve been appointed (into different positions), and you are the ones enjoying the party now, and we’ve not been part of the meetings before the caucus was constituted.

“It is not done that way.

“You put together a caucus after you have taken all the appointments.

“Okay, we are saying you can go ahead with your caucus, after all, it’s a factional caucus. We have our faction too.

“I have said this so many times, what they are doing is like having someone come into your house, open your fridge and then ask you ‘what are you going to drink?’. It is not done that way.”

Mr. Udoedehe said he had reconciled with Sam Ewang, a former military administrator of Rivers state and a chieftain of the APC, including a former member of the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Ekpenyong, with the aim of taking back the party.

“We are now wise, and the reconciliation is total,” he said. “We went to brief the national chairman of the party and the national secretary.”

Amadu Attai, the Chairman of the APC in the state, told PREMIUM TIMES that the party was bigger than any single person, including Mr. Udoedehe.

Mr. Attai said the APC, Mr. Umana and others want Mr. Udoedehe back to the party, but that the former senator has rebuffed attempts to reconcile with him since after the 2015 election.

“The party constitution says that whoever joins the party could be given a position within 24 hours, but if he (Udoedehe) were to be around he wouldn’t have allowed such appointment to be made,” said Mr. Attai.

“Udoedehe continues to say that he started the party in Akwa Ibom state, and that he owns the party. But the party has grown beyond that,” Mr. Attai said.

Akwa Ibom government set to establish cattle ranch.

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to harnessing the available natural resources in the state to create wealth for sustainability.

Governor Emmanuel stated this when he played host to San Carlos – a group of Agro Allied Investors from Mexico, who visited him at Government House, Uyo.

He said: “It behooves on the leadership of the state to harmonize the God-given resource to fight poverty and hunger.

“I am often appalled by the vast lands surrounding the state and not cultivated yet we depend on importing food items from neighbouring states whereas 80% of what we consumed should be produced locally”.

He hinted that in keeping with the focus of hi administration to ensure food sufficiency, he had “evolved an environment induced diagnosis by partnering with other investors to achieve set goals and make Agriculture a big business for farmers in the state”.

He expressed gratitude to the San Carlos Group for their decision to invest in the agricultural sector of the state’s economy.

The Chairman Technical Committee on Agriculture, Professor Edet Udoh, had earlier lauded the enterprise vision of Governor Emmanuel who has created an enabling environment to attract investors to the state.

“A Memoranda of Understanding has been signed with the San Carlos Group on areas of comparative advantage and a cattle ranch is to be established at Adadia, Uruan Local Government Area beginning with 2,000 herds of cattle in the first phase.

“They will take off with the harvest of cocoa yields using the international standard to control quality for export as well as introduce a new breed of cocoa and provide a nursery to nurture the new variety that would be given to farmers,” he said.

The investor, Mr Carlos Cabal said that modern agriculture is driven by technology and after an accurate feasibility study, his group resolved to invest in the livestock by bringing high breed cattle.

He said that they would carry out an insemination programme to provide new breeds for consumption and export.

Mr Cabal also spoke of the white almond cocoa variety that would be introduced to cocoa farmers in Ini Local Government Area of the state while a fermentation plant would be established in the area to save the grower the stress of wastage due to poor processing and ensure good quality of the cocoa seeds for export.

He expressed appreciation to Governor Udom Emmanuel for welcoming them to the state and pledged to abide by the MoU entered into with the state government.

Akwa Ibom Assembly confirms 18 nominees as commissioners

The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly on Wednesday confirmed 18 commissioner nominees and two Special Advisers as requested by Governor Udom Emmanuel.


The confirmation of the nominees followed their screening by the committee of the whole.


The House Leader, Udo Akpan, moved a motion for their confirmation and Aniekan Bassey (PDP-Uruan) seconded the motion.


The new commissioners are Paul Udofia, Ime Ekpo, Nse Essien, Eno Ikpe, Idoroenyin Udo and Nsikan Nkan.


The others are Uduak Udoinyang, Charles Udo, Orman Esin, Iniobong Essien, Dominic Ukpong, Uwemidimo Nwoko and Victor Antai.


The rest are Monday Uko, Glory Edet, Udoh Ekpenyong, Akan Okon as well as Ephraim Inyang.


The new Special Advisers are Ekong Sampson and Ekemini Umoh.


The Speaker of the House, Onofiok Luke, said that the nominees during the screening exhibited high level of intelligence and responsibility.


Mr. Luke therefore urged the commissioners-designate to help the governor in his endeavour to build a strong state.


He noted that the times demanded some sacrifice from all the new commissioners.


The Speaker also urged them to work with the permanent secretaries for effective service delivery to the people.


The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Mr. Emmanuel dissolved the former state executive council on October 15.


The governor forwarded the list of 18 nominees and two special advisers on November 25, made up of nine old executive members and 11 new ones to the assembly for confirmation.

Tribunal to commence trial of ex- Akwa Ibom officials

The Code of Conduct Tribunal is to commence the trial of about 50 senior public officials in Akwa Ibom accused of breaching the code of conduct and ethics of their offices.


The itinerary of the tribunal approved by the Chairman, Danladi Umar, a copy of which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, showed that the sittings are scheduled for between December 6 and 9 at the State High Court, Uyo.


The spokesperson of the tribunal, Ibrahim Al-hassan, said during the assignment in Akwa Ibom, that about 50 public officers, comprising ex-special advisers, local government counsellors that served between 2008 to 2009 and two administrative clerks from Esit Eket and Etim Ekpo local government areas would be tried.


“The tribunal’s itinerant session would help to clear up backlogs of cases in the zone within the period of the session,” Mr. Al-Hassan said.


“It will also make legal services available at the door steps of defaulters, particularly the low-ranking public officers, as well as serve as a means of publicizing the activities of the Tribunal within the zone.”


He said such sessions would equally strengthen the relationships between the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the host state, whose infrastructure and other logistics would be used for the session.

CCT To Try 50 Public Officers In Akwa Ibom

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) would between Dec. 6 and Dec. 9 relocate to Akwa Ibom for the trial of 50 public officers in the state who allegedly breached the code of conduct ethics.

Mr Danladi Umar, Chairman of the tribunal, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, the defendants comprise of ex-Special Advisers and Local Government Councillors that served between 2008 and 2009.

According to him, two Clerks from Esit and Etim Local Governments will also be tried.

“The tribunal’s itinerant session helps to clear up backlogs of cases in the zone within the period of the session. It also makes legal services at the door step of the defaulters, particularly the low-ranking public officers and as well serves as a means of publicising the activities of the tribunal within the zone.

“The essence is to further strengthen the relationship between CCT and the hosting state, whose infrastructure and other logistics would be used for the session,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal is the enforcement and disciplinary arm of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

All public officers in the Federal, State and Local Government levels are compelled by the Act of the bureau to declare their assets within the period of engagement.

NAN further reports that the tribunal recently convicted the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, for breaching CCB Act, while the trial of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at the tribunal is ongoing.

Credit: NAN

Akwa Ibom Oil Mogul, Dr. Friday Antai dumps PDP for APC.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Okobo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has lost a major pillar and financier, Dr. Friday Antai, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Accordingly, he has been appointed into the APC State Caucus.


Speaking shortly after his inauguration into the caucus in Uyo on Friday, Dr. Antai promised to work assiduously for the victory of the APC in Okobo and Oro Nation as a whole.


To this end, the mogul, who was the PDP chief agent in Okobo in the 2015 governorship and House of Assembly elections, said he has started a massive grassroots mobilization for the APC.


He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointments given prominent APC leaders including Obong Umana Umana, the Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Obong Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission and Engr. Ben Ukpong, Akwa Ibom’s representative in the National Population Commission.


Dr. Antai, a pastor, served as the Board Chairman of Akwa Ibom Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (AKRUWATSAN) and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit, in the government of former Governor Victor Attah.


Before establishing his own company, Basam Global Resources Limited, he had worked as Head of Operations at Ocean and Oil (now Oando) and Deputy Head of Operations in Nigeria for Intels Nigeria Limited.

Minister Of Power Inaugurates Power Plant In Akwa Ibom.

Against the backdrop of lack of electricity in some parts of the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has promised improved transmission across Nigeria.

He was speaking during the commissioning of a 330kva power transmission station in Akwa Ibom state.

The Minister said that the power plant would boost electricity supply and resolve the challenge of access to electricity in the country.
The 330kva station with 12 inter-connectivity lines to evacuate power from four major plants to the national grid is located in the heart of Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom state.

The Minister, after inspecting the facility, appealed for patience on the part of the host community while assuring them of improved electricity at affordable rates.

The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Moses Ekpo, who lauded the project said that the event marked a turning point for industrialization and development in the state.

In the meantime, more private investments worth billions of Naira have taken off in the state.

Nigerians are hopeful of better power in the days ahead.

Akwa Ibom governor nominates 20 Commissioners, Special Advisers.

Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has forwarded the names of 20 persons to the State House of Assembly for appointment as Commissioners and Special Advisers.
The names were read on the floor of the House by the Clerk of the assembly, Mandu Umoren, on Friday at plenary.


Those for appointment as commissioners are Paul Udofia, Ime Ekpo, Nse Essien, Eno Ikpe, Idoroenyin Udo and Mr Linus Nkan.


Others are Uduak Udoinyang, Charles Udo, Orman Esin, Iniobong Essien, Dominic Ukpong, Uwemedimoh Nwoko and Victor Antai.


Also on the list of nominees are Monday Uko, Glory Edet, Udo Ekpenyong, Akan Okon, and Ephraim Inyang.


Two names,  Ekong Sampson and Ekemini Umoh, were submitted for appointment as Special Advisers by the governor.


The Speaker, Onofiok Luke, who presided over the sitting, referred the list to the House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petitions for further legislative action.


He directed the committee to report back to the House within one week.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 20-man list shows that nine of the nominees were part of the State Executive Council dissolved by the governor on Oct. 15, while 11 were new.

Fashola Inaugurates 330KV Power Switching Station In Akwa Ibom

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday, inaugurated a 330KV power switching station in Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom.

The minister, at Ikot Inyang village in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, said that the switch on of the station would boost electricity supply in the country.

He said that the station was expected to evacuate electricity from power plants in Alaoji, Afam, Calabar and Ikot Abasi and route same to Ugwuaji in Enugu up to Jos.

Fashola said that the development would solve the problem of stranded power as the generating plants would have their power evacuated for use.

The minister added that the project was bedevilled with challenges but for the intervention of the National Assembly, which resolved the contending issues for the completion of the project.

The Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr Chiedu Ugbo, who was at the inauguration, said contract for the project was awarded in 2006.

Ugbo said that the project was delayed due to challenges and lauded the stakeholders for the commitment toward completing the project.

He noted that the new management of NDPHC was committed to ensuring improved power generation, saying that the switching of the station on would mark the end of epileptic power supply.

He expressed gratitude to Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and his predecessor, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and the host community for providing conducive environment for the completion of the project.

In her speech, Princess Maryam Akanmode, the contractor handling the project, said the 330 KV station had 12 inter-connectivity lines to evacuate power from the four plants to the national grid.

Akanmode, who is the Managing Director of Carlark International Limited, lauded the Federal Government and stakeholders for assisting in the completion of the project.

The Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said the event marked significant turning point in the march toward new dawn in both power infrastructural renaissance and industrial revolution.

Represented by his Deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo , the governor said that the Ibom Power Plant had approval for upgrade to 685 megawatts from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

He said that the state was generating 191 megawatts from the Power Plant in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of the state.

Emmanuel disclosed that the state government had equally partnered a private investor for the take-off of the N90 billion Uquo Gas Plant at Esit Eket.

He said that gas plant was projected to supply 131 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the National Independent Power Plant (NIPP) in Calabar, as well as the Ibom Power Plant.



Akwa Ibom Sports Director clears air over Stadium

The Akwa Ibom State government have cleared the air on a reported disagreement between them and the construction company handling the Uyo Stadium edifice.

The local media in Uyo had sounded an alarm that the Akwa Ibom Governor Emmanuel Udom had cancelled the contract of Julius Berger who built the stadium and are saddled to maintain the edifice.

The development had elicited fears that the venue for Saturday’s game is under threat but that has now been dispelled by the Director of Sports in Akwa Ibom State Aniedi Disckson who spoke with FCNaija.com on Wednesday in Uyo.

“There is no truth in that, I can assure you that everything is on track” Mr Dickson stated.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will walk onto the pitch of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Saturday on superior ground against the Fennecs of Algeria.

Victory on Saturday will keep Nigeria in front in the race to qualify for Russia 2018.

Police Arrests Woman For Stealing A Month Old Baby

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested a 30-year old woman, Peace Chukwuemeka, for stealing a month-old baby from her mother.

It was alleged that Chukwuemeka drugged the mother of the baby before stealing the child.

The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Murtala Mani, said this while speaking with journalists on the activities of the command in Uyo on Tuesday.

Mani, who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, stated that the suspect lived in the same compound with the mother of the baby at Mbak Itam in Itu Local Government Area.

He added that the family unit of the command, acting on intelligence, rescued the baby and handed it over to the mother.

“Let us say clearly that in the month of November, the Acid Section through the Family Unit of the Nigeria Police Force in Akwa Ibom was able to record a great feat by bringing back a one-month-and-some-few-days-old baby to her mother in Akwa Ibom.

“The suspected woman, who has been married for some years without giving birth to a baby, left Lagos State for Uyo, stayed in a compound in Mbak Itam with the intention to steal a baby from her neighbour.

“The Family Unit of the command, through intelligence report, was able to rescue the baby,” Mani said.

Mani added that the police also rescued a four-year-old boy from a young man, who snatched him from his mother at gun point.

Confessing to the crime, Peace Chukwuemeka, said she had married for 10 years without giving birth to a child and had been desperate to have a baby.

She, however, denied drugging the mother of the baby.

“I did not give anything to the mother; it was a coincidence that she was asleep and seized that opportunity to take the baby.

“I have been married for 10 years now, so I need a baby of my own. I took the baby to my mother in the village but she refused to collect her from me. I came back to Akwa Ibom and the mother of the baby started asking me of her baby and I was arrested,” Chukwuemeka confessed.



Akwa Ibom procures 20,000 jerseys for Super Eagles fans – official

The Akwa Ibom State Government says it has printed 20,000 T-shirts for distribution to football fans to cheer Super Eagles in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against the Desert Foxes (Fennecs) of Algeria in Uyo.

Government also constituted a Local Organising Committee to ensure a successful hosting of the match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

The Chairman of the Publicity subcommittee of the LOC, Nse Edem, disclosed this to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday.

Edem said that the committee, chaired by the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Etekamba Umoren, also included medical, security, accommodation and marketing committees.

He said that the committee would be coordinated by veteran sports journalist and FIFA Technical Officer, Paul Bassey.

Edem said that measures had been put in place to ensure that there were no lapses.

Edem said: “As far as we are concerned, there will be no excuses for failure because we have learnt our lessons from the last AFCON qualifier played in Uyo.

“We have put every arrangement in place to ensure they don’t reoccur again.”

Edem, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Youths and Sports, said sales of tickets would begin on Wednesday at designated spots within Akwa Ibom State and other parts of Nigeria.

He also said that 200 personnel would be deployed to ensure the safety of fans.

According to him, supporters clubs of local teams in the state will also be mobilised to compliment the Nigerian Football Supporters Club to cheer the Super Eagles to victory.

Edem said: “As far as Akwa Ibom state is concerned, there will be no margin for errors for this weekend’s qualifier.

“We are confident that Uyo will host all the Super Eagles home matches for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.”

Nigeria currently leads their group in the Russia 2018 African qualifiers after a 2-1 win in Ndola against host Zambia last month.

Two dead, three injured in Akwa Ibom kerosene explosion.

Kerosene explosion in Ikono Ibom Clan, Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom has left two children of one Mr. Nsikak Michael dead, with three others injured.

The incident was said to have occurred when Mr. Michael, who operates a small poultry farm near his residence in Ikot Enyingne Ikono, was trying to light up a lantern to keep the birds warm in their cage.

The Nation quoted the victim as saying: “I bought kerosene from a filling station along Idoro road as I closed from my Keke business.

“Upon getting home, I decided to lit up the lantern in my poultry farm to keep my birds warm but needed to top up the kerosene in the lamp as it was soon going off.

“So I came out of the poultry farm just as my kids followed. As I attempted to light up the lantern there was a loud explosion with a big flame of fire which left me unconscious.”

The report had it that one of the two children died few hours after, while the other died the next day at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH, where they were receiving treatments.

Meanwhile, Nsikak is still receiving treatment at the hospital.

Nigerian Navy To Set Up University Campus In Akwa Ibom.

A campus of the proposed Nigerian Navy University may soon be established at Ekparakwa, in Akwa Ibom state.

The Chief of Naval staff, Vice Admiral Ibokette Ibbas, dropped the hint during a meeting with the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, in Uyo.

Vice Admiral Ibbas says the decision of the state government to offer the Nigerian Navy a place to establish its campus is as a result of the good working relationship with the state in the last 23 years.

He lauded the state administration for giving out the special technical school to the command to establish an institution which would complement the Naval university as a campus.

Vice Admiral Ibbas particularly expressed gratitude to Governor Emmanuel for the various support to aid the naval infrastructure ranging from land at Uta Ewa, Essene and the jetty to aid in their operation and the provision of two gun boats to boost the Naval logistics.

The Naval boss stressed the force’s commitment to ensuring that the waterways were no safe haven for criminals.

“Officers and men have intensified surveillance to guarantee safety of facilities and people in the Territorial waters,” he told the governor.

On his part, Governor Emmanuel said another school would be approved for the establishment of a Navy Secondary School and urged the Navy to protect the shorelines and guarantee security in the area for various business operations such as the petrochemical industries, Deep Seaport and other infrastructures in the territorial waters.

Governor Emmanuel informed the Navy officers of the construction of a dual carriage road at Ibaka to the oil and gas firm at Urue Offong and Udung Uko to ease traffic to the Deep Seaport.

He reiterated the commitment of the state government to partnering with security agencies in the area to ensure safety of lives and property.

Mr Emmanuel also urged the Navy to keep an eye on the waterways to forestall reported cases of terrorism by criminals in some fishing islands.

The Chief of Naval Staff was accompanied by the top officials of the Nigerian Navy in Brass.

Police Nabs Child Trafficking Syndicate in Akwa Ibom, Rescue 2-Month-old Baby Sold For N450,000

The Akwa Ibom Police Command has arrested a child trafficking syndicate and a woman for allegedly buying a 2-month-old baby for N450,000.

The suspected traffickers were paraded to journalists on Saturday, October 22, at the state police headquarters in Uyo. Those paraded included a homeopathic doctor, Eneyo Nyang, who is accused of running the baby factory, two teenage girls and a twenty-four year- old mother Comfort Effiong, who had sold her two-month old baby to a 51-year-old woman, Rose Edwardfor N450,000.

Presenting the suspects, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Cordelia Nwawe, stated that the arrest of the suspects followed intelligence reports and commitment of a combined team of

the ant-kidnapping unit in collaboration with sister units of police.

She said that Edward from Rivers State confessed to have bought the baby because she needed a baby of her own.

Confessing to the crime, the baby’s mother said that she sold her baby because there was no one to take care of her.

“I sold the baby because of help; I don’t have anybody to help me. My father is late and my mother is sick and I don’t have anybody to help me,” Effiong said.

The Police spokesperson warned parents and guardians to take responsibility for the welfare of their teenage girls to avoid teenage pregnancies. She also urged members of the public wishing to adopt to follow legal and legitimate processes.

Source: Channels TV

Babies Sell For N450,000 Each In Akwa Ibom- Police

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested no fewer than 11 suspected child traffickers in the state.

Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Murtala Mani, weekend, said a syndicate that specialised in trafficking babies was smashed by the anti-kidnapping unit of the force.

According to him, a woman, Comfort Edem, was arrested on October 13, following intelligence report that she had been running an illegal maternity home for the purpose of trading in children. Mani, who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, noted that the suspects sold the trafficked children at N450,000 each.

According to him, “the suspects went after pregnant teenagers and negotiated the prices of the unborn children with them and once the babies were born, they would be given to the traffickers.

“Information at our disposal led to the interception of a syndicate which traffic babies in Akwa Ibom. On October 13, the anti-kidnapping unit intercepted a woman who owns an illegal maternity home.

“She specialises in making sure that she takes in pregnant teenagers. Once the babies are born, those babies are sold and trafficked out of Akwa Ibom. As a matter of fact, the girls had reliably informed us that this is not the first time they had sold their babies for N450,000 each.”

He also said another syndicate, who sold children for N500,000 each, was also smashed, adding that the police had rescued a two-month old girl who had been sold to a woman in Rivers State.



Akwa Ibom To Build Camps In Anticipation Of Flood

Akwa Ibom  State Government has directed the chairmen of 15 local government areas prone to flooding to build camps for rescue of victims in view of anticipated flood.

The State Flood Sensitisation Campaign Team led by the Director of Administration, Deputy Governor’s Office, Mrs Ekaette Ekanem, gave the directive yesterday at Itu centre of the campaign.

It was learnt that the state government had already categorised the 15 flood prone local government areas (LGAs) into four groups for purpose of the sensitisation.

The Oron group will comprise Oron, Udung Uko, Mbo, Urue Offong/Oruko and Okobo LGAs while Ibeno group or centre will make up of Eket, Esit Eket, Onna and Ibeno LGAs.

The LGAs in Ikot Abasi group or centre are Mkpat Enin, Eastern Obolo,Ikot Abasi while Itu centre comprises Uruan, Ibiono Ibom and Itu LGAs.

Ekanem said that the state government was working towards providing relief materials to victims of flooding that would be identified by the local council authority during the emergency.

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Akwa Ibom Denies Report Of Ex-militants Invasion

Government of Akwa Ibom State has described has false, recent media reports that ex-militants invaded Akwa Ibom State Government House, Uyo.
Responding to the report, carried in national, local and online media, the state Commissioner for Information and Social Reorientation, Mr. Aniekan Umana said  that some persons claiming non payment of amnesty entitlements  emerged along Wellington Bassey road to the Government House, to seek the intervention of the state government over the non payment of their outstanding allowances by the Amnesty office of the Federal Government.

Mr. Umanah said the peaceful emissary of the ex-militants was however, infiltrated by hoodlums, but was promptly controlled by law enforcement agencies.
According to the him, “To maintain law and order, the unruly behaviour of the infiltrators was met with necessary and adequate control by the State Command of the Nigeria Police, who ensured  the hoodlums beat a retreat.”

The information boss who reiterated the commitment of Governor Udom Emmanuel to ensuring the safety of lives and property, maintained that “everywhere in Akwa Ibom State is calm and peaceful.” He called on all law abiding citizens and residents to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation from any quarters.



Ex-militants Storm Akwa Ibom Govt House, Engage Security Operatives In Gun Duel

A group of armed young men who called themselves former militants, yesterday, stormed the Akwa Ibom State Government House demanding payment of the alleged suspended allowances.
The former militants numbering about 40 who arrived in three mini-buses engaged security agents in gun fight while trying to gain access into Government House, but they were repelled by the reinforced and heavily armed security operatives.
They accused the state government of not responding to their plight by negotiating the payment of their alliances with the Federal Government.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala Mani, who confirmed the clash, said he was not sure if there had been any arrest as he was with the new Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 6, in Calabar.
Mani said he would give details of the event when fully briefed.
Aparently worried by the activities of militants, especially the incessant bombing of oil installations across the Niger-Delta region, prominent elders and leaders of thoughts from the zone have summoned the six core states to a stakeholders’ forum on August 19 at the  Petroleum Training Institute (PTI)  Conference Centre, Effurun near Warri at 11.00am.
Foremost Ijaw national leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who made this disclosure in  Warri yesterday, noted that the meeting had become imperative to address issues that led to the renewed insurgency in the region.
The states are Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River. The meeting will attract traditional rulers, former and serving governors, politicians, youth organisations and other notable stakeholders.
According to Clark, who is also the leader of the South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA), “there is urgent need to dialogue. The present problem is not Ijaw problem alone. It is pertinent for the six Niger-Delta states to dialogue and chart a way forward with the Federal Government on how to end the crisis. Vandalism and bombing of pipelines are worrisome situations. Crisis does not solve crisis, dialogue is the answer. We are part of Nigeria and we believe in the unity, development and peace of this great nation.”
He disclosed that invitation to the meeting had been sent out to all stakeholders from the six core states, including serving and former legislators (federal and states), youths and other interests who are key in finding solution to the issue that led to the current crisis.
Appealing to the aggrieved youths, especially members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign while solution was being sought, Clark, urged the Federal Government to be transparent and sincere in its proposed dialogue with militants in the region.

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Again, Avengers Blow Up NNPC Gas Pipeline In Akwa Ibom

Niger Delta Avengers on Sunday night allegedly blew up the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, gas pipeline at Nsite Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.

The claim has not been independently confirmed, but spokesperson of the militant group, self-styled Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement, challenged NNPC to “check their pipeline if it is ‘system anomaly.’

” The statement read: “At 11:30pm on Sunday, the NDA blow up Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), gas pipeline at Nsit-Ibom L.G.A, Akwa Ibom state.

NNPC should check their pipeline if it’s “system Anomaly”. Asking the NNPC to check if it was system anomaly is an allusion to the exchange between the militant group and Exxon Mobil, which initially denied an attack on its export line in Akwa-Ibom state, saying that it was a system anomaly, only to declare force majeure days later.

Credit: Vanguard


Police Inspector Allegedly Rapes 15 Year Old Girl In Akwa Ibom At Gun Point

A police inspector attached to Mkpat Enin Police Division in Akwa Ibom State has allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl at gunpoint.

The victim, a senior secondary pupil of Community Secondary School in the area, on Tuesday said she was returning from church on Thursday, last week, when a police team accosted her.

She explained that the inspector pointed his gun at her, saying if she tried to stop him from touching her he would shoot her.

She said the inspector then led her away from other members of the team to a dark portion of the road.

The policeman then forcefully caressed her breasts, saying “small you possess these types of breasts”, she said.

She added, “After he had forced me to remove my clothes, he ordered me to lie down and open my legs. And what I noticed was that he brought out his penis and inserted it into my vagina.

“As he was romping over me, he forbade me crying as he threatened to shoot me if I should open my mouth.

“But when I could not bear the pains any longer as blood was running out of my private part, he quickly took me into the vehicle and drove to the station, where he detained me from Thursday till Saturday.

“It was my uncle, Dr. Ime Stephen that came from Abuja and bailed me out with N10,000,” she said.

Asked of her mother, she told our correspondent that she did not know her mom, who left her dad when she was a toddler.

Her dad on the other hand became paralysed after he fell from a palm tree, and ended up living with her in her uncle’s house.

Her uncle, Stephen, who said the inspector in question was a prosecutor, explained that he could not believe his eyes when the girl pointed at the policeman as the one who raped her from among those who were on duty on that day.

He said, “The inspector for pointing a gun he was given on trust at a girl of 15 before raping her, lacks the characters of police officers who are meant to protect lives and property of Nigerians.

“He is a fraud by also taking the girl into the police custody for three days and collected N10,000 as bail sum from the girl’s guardian.

“We call for his dismissal from the force so that he can be prosecuted accordingly.”

Credit: Punch

Akwa Ibom To Prosecute 9000 Workers For Alleged Salary Scam

No fewer than 9000 employees in the Akwa Ibom civil service were to be prosecuted for alleged fraudulent drawing of salaries from more than one pay point in the state.

Governor Udom Emmanuel who disclosed this to newsmen on Monday in Uyo said the massive fraud was uncovered in the preliminary bio-metric exercise recently conducted by the office of the state Accountant-General.

“It is shocking to know that a section of the employees in the state are drawing salaries from more than a pay point.

“We have given the affected employees and those yet to be uncovered, the option to refund the salaries they have fraudulently taken or be prosecuted,’’ he said.

The governor directed the Permanent Secretaries in Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the state to commence finger print verification of all employees.

He said that employees who failed to participate in the verification exercise would have their names deleted from the automated salary paying system and nominal roll.

The governor noted that more than 1,000 employees were yet to comply with the directive.

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to making discipline and zero tolerance for corruption its watchwords.

Credit: NAN

Petrol Scarcity: Fire Claims 7 Lives in Akwa Ibom

It was a black Friday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, as seven persons lost their lives in a fire incident said to have been caused by poor storage of fuel.

The inferno, which occurred about 2am at No 33 Ntia street off Ekpri Nsukara within the Uyo metropolis, claimed the lives of a woman and three of her children as well as three grandchildren of the landlady of the compound.

Luck was, however, on the side of the landlady, Madam  Monica Effiong,  and  another occupant of the compound, Emmanuel, who were rescued and taken to the hospital.

An eye witness, Mr Ekemini Obot, who is the grandson to the landlady, Madam Monica Effiong, said his wife noticed the fire in the next compound went going out to urinate and raised alarm which attracted neigbours for rescue.

However, luck was not at the side of the victims in the fire incidence as the fire had consumed them before the needed help could come.

Mr. Obot said his grandmother and another occupant in the compound were rescued  and rushed to the University of Uyo Teaching hospital for medical attention.

Credit: Thisday

APC Candidate Withdraws From Akwa Ibom Rerun Election

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the March 12 Akwa Ibom rerun election, Mr Victor Okon, has withdrawn his candidacy.


Okon, vying for the Oron/Udung Uko constituency, made his decision known at a news conference held in Uyo on Friday, less than 24 hours to the rerun election.


He said that his withdrawal from the Saturday Akwa Ibom House of Assembly rerun election was personal.


He added that “after due consultation with my family and immediate constituency, I have decided to withdraw from the rerun election fixed for March 12, 2016 for very personal reasons.


“I have also already resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC). This is my will and final decision on this matter.” He thanked the people of Oron/Udung Uko state constituency for their unflinching support and assistance throughout his sojourn and during the contest and his political career.


Okon contested the Oron Udung Uko state constituency election on the platform of APC in the April 11, 2015 election and lost to Mr Effiong Bassey of the PDP.




A’Ibom APC Urges Buhari To Probe S’Court To Save Judiciary

All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Amadu Attai, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Supreme Court over its verdict which upheld the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

In a statement in Abuja, Dr. Attai said that a probe of the apex court over that judgment was the only way to restore the dignity of Nigeria’s highest court.
According to him, “We believe the leadership of the country and indeed all Nigerians should not sit and watch the judiciary collapse under the watch of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria. We, hereby, call on the President to arrest the drift in the third arm of government by probing the rot in the Supreme Court.”

Dr. Attai claimed that the spate of attacks on the Supreme Court following its decisions in some of the governorship election petitions, including that of his state, were indicative of the lack of confidence in the court, by many members of the Nigerian public.

This, he contended, portends grave dangers for the nation as it could lead those who felt they had been denied justice to resort to self-help.



Credit : Today

Supreme Court Upholds Akwa Ibom, Abia Governors’ Election

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Udom Emmanuel, as the Governor of Akwa Ibom and that of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.

In judgments on Wednesday that lasted less than 30 minutes, the court said Governor Emmanuel and his Abia counterpart, Ikpeazu, having won the lawfully cast votes, are duly elected as governors of their states.

The Supreme Court by the judgment, set aside the judgments of the two lower courts, saying that its reasons for the verdicts would be given on February 15 and 26.


Party supporters, who came to witness the decisions in the appeals filed by the Governors and the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Taraba State, waited with anxiety as counsels to their candidates battled it out inside the court. Presenting their evidences, they tried to persuade the court to either uphold their appeals or cross appeals.

The Supreme Court, however, reached verdicts only in the appeals and cross appeals filed in the petition challenging the elections of Governors Emmanuel and Ikpeazu.

Hearing in the various appeals lasted over 12 hours, with intermittent breaks.

After hearing all the appeals the panel of justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria retired to their chambers, returning with a verdict after about an hour.

In less than 15 minutes they upheld the appeals filed by Governor Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and Governor Ikpeazu of Abia State, declaring them duly elected.

The panel of justices also upheld the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, asking for reversal of the lower court’s cancellation of elections in all 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom State.

All the parties in the suits praised the apex court for doing justice to the case and improving on the country’s jurisprudence.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Akwa Ibom Embarks On Mechanised Agriculture

The Akwa-Ibom Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Mathew Ekaette, has said that the state government has commenced mechanised farming to ensure food accessibility and sufficiency.



Ekaette, who made this known to newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday, said that some communities were donating lands to the state government to achieve the objective.



He said that government had commenced steps to ensure availability of food across the state.



The commissioner noted that government was embarking on mechanised farming to ensure that food was produce in a commercial scale in the state.



“Food sufficiency rest on four pillars, government is ensuring that food is available, affordable, accessible and save for human consumption,’’ he said.



He said that the state government would engage farmers through cooperative societies to involve them in massive production of food crops for income generation.



“Farmers will be mobilised and sensitised through capacity building and then make all these inputs for them at the level of cooperative.


“We will also ensure that there is value addition in what we produce because if there is value addition the poverty level which our farmers have subject to will remain,’’ Ekaette said.



The commissioner said that the state government in tackling poverty among farmers in the state would also ensure value addition to produce to further enhance investment in the sector.



Ekaette said the government had approved the reactivation of cassava processing plant in the state.


He appealed to various communities to support and cooperate with government in the donation of more land for cultivation.


He expressed regrets that the biometric exercise designed by government to capture farmers in the state had suffered setbacks with only 366 registered farmers out of 2.1million famers in the state.


According to him, it represents less than 3 per cent of the expected registration.


He called on farmers to key into the initiative to enable the state benefit from the Federal Government programme in the subsector.


Ekaette assured farmers in the state of government support in providing them with the needed skills and tools for effective farming.





Appeal Court Sacks House Speaker

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday nullified the election of the Speaker of Akwa-Ibom House of Assembly, Mr Aniekan Uko, for non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.

The appellate court panel of three judges presided over by Justice Moshood Oredola-Abdulrahman, ordered INEC to conduct fresh election in the state constituency – Ibesikpo-Asutan.

The court, which upheld the earlier decision of the Legislative House Election Petitions Tribunal for Akwa Ibom, said Uko of the PDP was not validly elected in the April 11 election.

It held that the election tribunal which sat in Abuja was right in nullifying the election of Uko on the basis of electoral violence and malpractices. After the judgment, Uko said he accepted the decision of the court in good faith. He said he would go back to the field to prepare for the re-run election.

Credit: Vanguard

Akwa Ibom To Evacuate Prostitutes From Uyo Streets

The Akwa Ibom State government has announced plans to evacuate commercial sex workers from the streets of Uyo.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Glory Edet, announced this in Uyo on Tuesday during a Town Hall Meeting with representatives of female students in tertiary institutions in Akwa Ibom.

Edet said the prostitutes constituted nuisance along the streets of the state capital, adding that it was not good for the image of the state.

“As a ministry, we play a major role in the implementation of programmes that promote the development of women.

“It is, therefore, necessary to provide orientation for young women to enable them to grow into responsible mothers”, she said.

She called on the students to always respect constituted authorities, engage in meaningful ventures, dress decently and shun cultism in school.

The commissioner also urged female students to inculcate the spirit of hard work, humility and fear of God for brighter future.

Credit: Punch

Ex-Gov. Of Akwa Ibom Quits Partisan Politics, Slams PDP

 A former governor of Akwa Ibom State and founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Victor Attah, has announced his retirement from partisan politics.

Mr. Attah, a member of PDP Board of Trustees, on Tuesday announced at a press conference in Uyo, the state capital, that he would be playing the role of an elder statesman to “continue to serve this country with love, strength, and faith”.

Although it was not expressly stated, it appeared Mr. Attah was quitting the PDP to enable him mobilise support across party lines for the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom whenever there would be a rerun of the governorship election in the state.

The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Tribunal recently nullified the April 11 governorship election in 18 out of 31 local government areas in the state, and ordered a rerun.

Mr. Attah hailed the judgment as an indication that Akwa Ibom closer to being liberated.

“What I had always wanted is beginning to come into focus,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Why PDP Should Not Celebrate Akwa Ibom Tribunal Judgment- Umana

The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana, has said there is nothing for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to celebrate over the verdict of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that upheld elections in 13 out of 31 local government areas in the state.

Umana who was embraced by intimidating crowd at the Ibom International Airport on arrival to the state from Abuja weekend after the judgment of the election petition tribunal last Wednesday said it was not yet over for the PDP.

Reports gathered that the convoy and crowd that escorted Umana from the airport caused  a scare on the road as people cued along both side of the major roads in the city to wave  and welcome Umana.

Addressing thousands of APC faithful that gathered at the Nsima Ekere open ground along Edet Akpan Avuene, the APC governorship candidate said he was excited by the matured reception accorded him by the crowd.

“When I arrive the airport, I was confused and somehow someone told me that the good people of Akwa Ibom got to know that I will be coming on Saturday.  This response and expression that we witnessed is all spontaneous; it was not planned, not funded by me or the party.

“This has given me an indication as to the feelings of the people of Akwa Ibom State. I want to thank them for this level of solidarity and to assure them that we will not relent; we will pursue this struggle to free Akwa Ibom State,” he stressed.

Credit: Thisday

Tribunal Orders Re-Run In Akwa Ibom Gov. Election

The Akwa Ibom State  governorship tribunal has ordered for a rerun of the governorship election in the state.

The Tribunal ordered Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct re-run election in 18 local government areas of the state. There are 31 LGs in Akwa Ibom.

Giving its verdict on Wednesday, the Tribunal said it was satisfied that there were discrepancies during the governorship election held on April 11.

The Tribunal further asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct the re-run elections.

Credit: Vanguard

Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal Resumes Sitting Thursday

After two weeks of adjournment, the Akwa Ibom governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja resumes Thursday to adopt written addresses by parties in the matter.

Candidate for the All Progressives Congress in the election, Umana Umana, had approached the tribunal challenging the conduct of the poll and the declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner.

At the last sitting, the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel directed that the respondents should file and serve their final written addresses on the petitioners within seven days beginning from Monday, September 21, 2015, while the petitioners should file and serve their final written addresses on the respondents within four days.

In the sitting which lasted for about three months, the prosecution called over 60 witnesses.

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Akwa Ibom: As PDP Closes Case, Tribunal Orders INEC To Open Defence

As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Emmanuel Udom closed their case yesterday, the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to open its defence against the allegations of aiding election malpractices in the April 11 polls.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sadiq Umar, gave the order after counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), announced that the party would not present additional witnesses originally listed to testify at the tribunal.

As a result, Justice Umar ordered INEC as the third respondent in the petition, to present its defence today (Tuesday) when the proceedings will commence.

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No Immunity In Government House, APC Tells Fayose

APC in Ekiti State says there is no immunity for any governor in government house. This is contained in a statement the party released yesterday September 13th in reaction to a newspaper advertorial by Governor Fayose in which he described President Buhari as a dictator for allegedly sending DSS to comb the Akwa Ibom Government House recently. APC’s statement which was signed by its publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, after the cut…

“Let us educate Fayose that a Government House is not the same as foreign embassies or missions that enjoy physical immunity from security activities by local armed forces. While a governor enjoys immunity from physical and body security search, the same cannot be said of the Government House because no law in the nation’s constitution says the Government House should be a breeding ground for insurrection and insurgency where state enemies can assemble arms to topple a legitimate government and we suspect Fayose as an accomplice in the arms stockpiling saga in the Akwa Ibom Government House, otherwise there is no reason for him to be edgy and agitated in his response.

We know why Fayose is blackmailing DSS in this matter. Ekiti Government House is home to thugs and criminal elements armed to the teeth that the governor has been using against the opposition. They were used on massive scale during the last elections to attack the opponents. As we speak, they are still lodged in the Government House where they take off at nights to rob and kidnap innocent Ekiti people. We never had this kind of experience for four years of Governor Kayode Fayemi until Fayose started his campaign with importation of criminals that have been stalking the state residents.

We call on DSS to be alert to its responsibilities of maintaining internal cohesion and security integrity across the country and should comb everywhere, including the Aso Rock if need be, to ensure that no man in authority constitutes himself as a security risk to the nation’s unity.

Cross River Legalises Death Penalty for Kidnappers

Following the incessant spade of kidnappings in the country ,Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, monday signed into law a bill that prescribes death penalty for convicted kidnappers in the state.
The anti-kidnapping bill was one of 10 bills the governor signed into law at the state Executive Chambers witnessed by the Speaker and members of the state House of Assembly.

The law also empowers the state to seize assets as well as freeze accounts belong to convicted
kidnappers and those who aid and abet kidnapping in the state.

A’Ibom Tribunal: PDP Agent Admits Signing Multiple Results

Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party who served as the party’s agents during the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State admitted signing multiple result sheets while testifying before the state Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday.

One of the agents, Nicholas Andy, who served as the PDP agent in Ibiono-Ibom Local Government Area, admitted that no agent of any political party, including that of the PDP signed the result sheets in three of the 11 wards of the local government.

The agents were testifying for Governor Udom Emmanuel of the PDP whose election as governor is being challenged before the tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the poll, Mr. Umana Umana.

Andy, while testifying on Monday denied the petitioners’ allegation that election only took place in two out of the 161 polling units in Ibiono-Ibom Local Government Area.

He admitted serving as the PDP agent for the local government and for Ikot Ikpo Ward 6 during the election.

When the petitioners’ lawyer, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), asked him what the distance between the local government and ward collation agents was, he said he could not tell the distance in kilometres “but it is not far.”

He said the PDP had agents in all the wards in the local government.

But when the petitioners’ lawyer confronted him with the list of the agents for the wards in the local government, he admitted them as being the list of approved agents but his name was not on the list.

He also confirmed, when confronted with the result sheets, that no political agent including that of the PDP signed the result sheets of three out of the 11 wards in the local government.

Also, one of the PDP’s agents, Emmanuel Mbong, admitted signing the result sheet on behalf of the PDP at Eket Urban Ward 1 and Eket Urban Ward 3 as well for Eket Local Government Area.

Mbong said though he was the agent approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the PDP in Eket Local Government Area and Eket Urban Ward 1, he had to sign for the PDP in Eket Urban Ward 3, because the agent approved for that ward needed to rush his wife to the hospital.

“The agent for Ward 3, Chief Ekpe Ubong Udoh, called me on the phone when I was at the local government collation centre that he was indisposed because his wife was stooling and vomiting, so he had to rush her to the hospital,” Mbong said.

Also testifying, Obong Titus, who said the collation of results took place in all the polling units and wards of Etinan Local Government, confirmed that the PDP had agents in all the 11 wards in the local government.

But he confirmed that the result sheets of wards 1, 5 and 8 of Etinan LGA marked as Exhibit DDD 1, 5 and 8 were signed by, Mr. Ibanga Udofia, when the petitioners’ counsel, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) confronted him with documents.

Governor Emmanuel, represented by Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), has so far called 19 witnesses.

The proceedings continue Tuesday.

Investigate Invasion Of Govt. House, Akwa Ibom Lawmakers Task Buhari

Members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Sunday asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to investigate Thursday’s raid of the state’s Government House by operatives of the State Security Services.

In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday and signed by all members of the Assembly, the lawmakers said the raid on the governor’s official residence was an attack on the entire people of Akwa Ibom state.

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Non-Humans Voted in Akwa-ibom State – Tribunal Forensic Expert

One of the forensic experts who testified before the Akwa Ibom State governorship tribunal Thursday, said out of the 140, 832 finger prints on ballot papers matched (scanned and analyzed) over 100,000 were non- human prints. The witness was testifying in the gubernatorial election suit between Umana Umana of the All Progressive congress (APC) and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, who was the candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party in the election. Umana had approached the tribunal, challenging the election and declaration of Udom Emmanuel as governor. At the Thursday hearing, the forensic expert added that they also discovered about 13, 000 cases of thumb printing.
The witness, Abdullahi Dauda, said the forensic analysis was done using Automated Fingerprint and Identification System.
The witness who has worked for the United Parcel Service for 32 years, offered to demonstrate to the tribunal how he and members of his team arrived at the results. Counsel to the petitioner, Dayo Akinlaja then applied that the forensic expert witnesses be allowed to demonstrate the procedure before the tribunal but the respondent represented by Asiwaju Awolomo,argued that the particulars of the procedure sought were not pleaded by the petitioners in the petition. Ruling on whether to allow the witness demonstrate the process was then reserved.
Another witness, Sanusi, said though it was part of the routine associated with its work to take pictures of the process as much as needed and to access materials freely, he was prevented from doing so. He alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) did not allow him free access to the materials. He also alleged that constant incursion by the Attorney General of the state was another issue he had to contend with. The third forensic expert, Salisu Abdullahi, an information technologist, equally identified the joint report earlier tendered. He stated that he had the outcome of the forensic inspection and analysis on his Flash drive and was ready to show the tribunal.
Earlier, the petitioner said he was ready to close his case this week if INEC cooperates with them by presenting before the tribunal all the ballot papers used for the election which the tribunal had earlier ordered. But INEC counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, said the materials may have been moved back to Uyo. That did not go down well with the tribunal which had earlier made an order that the materials should remain in Abuja till end of hearing in the petition. The tribunal then ordered INEC to ensure that the ballot papers are brought before it.

Akwa Ibom APC Governorship Ticket May Have Been Invalid

Going by the provision of Section 182 (1) g) of the 1999 Constitution, which stipulates that “No person shall be qualified for election to the office of a governor of a state if still employed in the public service of the federation or any state, the joint ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Umana O. Umana and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Effiong Ukpong is invalid.

Though anyone vying for elective office is expected to have resigned, withdrawn or retired from public service employment for at least thirty days to the date of the election, documents obtained by Akwa Ibom Consolidated Political Action Committee (AIPAC) revealed that Mr. Ukpong has been collecting his monthly salary and allowances from his First Bank account from September 2014 to June 2015 as a staff of the Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA).

Interested parties are already raising issues of constitutionality, morals and ethical matters against Effiong, who is also considered to have committed perjury, because he had told the world under oath, that he had fully resigned his employment with FCDA.

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Akwa Ibom Denies Owing Workers Salaries

The Chief Press Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Ekerette Udoh, has said that the state government does not owe civil servants salaries.

Udoh, who spoke with our correspondent in Uyo on Wednesday, said it was regrettable that the state was mistakenly lumped into the group of states that owe workers salaries in the national dailies.

He said, “Akwa Ibom State does not owe workers salaries at all. The state was mistakenly lumped into states that owe workers salaries in the national dailies.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, had said that salaries and allowances in the state constitute first line charges.

He stated that by first-line charges, salaries and allowances of workers, irrespective of their levels or grades, were paid first before government attended to any other matters that required money.

“Akwa Ibom State Government does not owe workers salaries. Salary is the first-line charge in Akwa Ibom State,” he said

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Akwa Ibom Administration Announces Key Appointments

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has announced the appointment of aides to fill key positions in his administration. He appointed Etekamba Umoren as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Pastor Bassey Umoh as the Permanent Secretary, Governor’s Office.

Ekerete Udoh was appointed Senior Special Assistant (Media) and Chief Press Secretary to the Executive Governor while Aniekpeno Mkpanang was appointed as the new Permanent Secretary for Special Services Department (SSD).

Edmond Uffang has been appointed as Protocol Chief. The appointments are said to be part of Emmanuel’s agenda to reposition the state. “The governor wishes the newly appointed aides the very best in the discharge of their responsibilities,” read a statement.

Credit: CAJ News

Protests Erupt Against Akpabio For Failing to Pay People Who Sold Their Votes to Him

Protesters have locked down the Akwa Ibom Liaison office in Abuja over alleged failure by Governor Godswill Akpabio to fulfil his promise to pay each staff N50,000 for travelling home state to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party in the recent general elections.

Staff say the governor also promised to pay them generous Christmas bonus for 2014 but has so far failed to keep his words.

According to reports by Premium Times: Mr. Akpabio promised them general financial incentive if they could travel to Akwa Ibom from the Abuja base to vote for his anointed candidate in the governorship election.

The offer was irresistible to many staff who travelled the over 634 kilometres by road to vote for the state PDP governorship candidate.

But over a month since they returned, the staff said, Mr. Akpabio has failed to pay up.

After pressuring him quietly for weeks, the staff ran out of patience and embarked on a protest Monday to compel the governor to pay before handing over to his successor on Friday.

Arrest Rivers, Akwa Ibom INEC Chiefs, Group Raises Alarm On Electoral Fraud

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, demanding the arrest and investigation of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Gesila Khan, and that of Akwa Ibom State, Austin Okoji.

The demand by the civic group follows exposure of irregularities in the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the two South-South states.

Challenging the credibility of elections in the states, CSNAC stated that there were irregularities in the numbers of total votes cast and votes polled in each of the states by the winners and the numbers of authentic accredited voters generated by INEC central server in Abuja.

The group’s petition was titled ‘Demand For Urgent Investigation Of Fraudulent Manipulation Of Election Results In Akwa Ibom And Rivers States Governorship Elections Of April 11, 2015 By Two Resident Electoral Commissioners.’

“In brazen contravention of several provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Barrister Austin Okojie, falsely declared that 1,158,624 people voted in the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom State, leaving a difference of 721,496 in excess of the actual card readers figures of accredited voters,” the group said in its petition.

“In a similar vein, the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dame Gesila Khan, declared 1,228,614 total votes, contrary to the figure of 292,878 accredited voters recorded in the INEC central server in Abuja. This is in excess of 935,736 votes.

“Local and international observers who physically observed elections in both States had, immediately after the elections, called for the cancellation of elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. The conduct and outcomes of the elections were declared to be flawed, below standard and inconsistent with provisions of the electoral Act, 2010.

“An online newspaper, Premiumtimesng, in its publication of Saturday, April 9, 2015 titled; River’s Nyesom Wike a goner; INEC document exposes fraud by PDP, INEC in guber poll, confirmed allegations contained in the petition forwarded to our a network and findings of our independent investigations.”

Read More: premiumtimesng

Tribunal Orders Inspection Of Ballot Papers From Akpabio’s Senatorial Win

The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal for Akwa Ibom on Friday ordered the inspection of 450,000 ballot papers used in declaring Governor Godswill Akpabio as Senator-elect.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Akpabio the winner of the March 28 Senatorial Election for Akwa Ibom North-West District.

This declaration prompted the All Progressives Congress candidate for the Senatorial District, Chief Inibehe Okorie, to petition the Tribunal asking that Akpabio’s election be nullified for alleged irregularities.

Ruling on the prayers of the petitioner, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, directed that the polling documents used in the election be inspected.

Oyebanji explained that the order was derived from the provisions of Section 151 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010.
The section allows for inspection of polling documents if the Tribunal is satisfied that it could help maintain or defend an election petition.

The chairman further directed that the inspection should be conducted within 10 days from May 8, in the presence of the respondent or his agents and the security agents.

Earlier, the counsel for the petitioner, Chief Assam Assam (SAN), had prayed the Tribunal to grant leave for inspection of the polling documents to verify 450,000 votes scored by Akpabio.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 35 petitions had been received by the Tribunal in the state as of May 8.

Credit – Punch Newspaper

Stolen Baby Recovered In Akwa Ibom- Police

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has recovered a baby boy, David Johnny, who was stolen by a doctor with the connivance of his mother, Esther Johnny, and sold to a woman in Abuja. It was learnt that the mother initially denied knowledge of the crime as the police intensified efforts to unravel the whereabouts of the baby.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, Akwa Ibom State, Mike Okoli, said this in Uyo on Tuesday. He stated that when the police apprehended the doctor, he tried to frustrate police investigation into the matter. He added that the police had to tell the doctor that they would charge him to court for child kidnapping if he failed to produce the missing child.

The CP said, “The police in Akwa Ibom State have rescued a baby boy, David Johnny, who was stolen when he was three-day-old and handed over to a doctor in Port Harcourt. The baby was subsequently taken to Abuja.

“When we found the doctor, he refused to cooperate as he tried to frustrate the efforts of the police in investigating the case of the stolen boy.

“My officers in the trafficking department moved from Uyo to Port Harcourt, Umuahia, and Aba in search of the stolen child.

“It was not until Wednesday, April 22, when the pressure became so much, that the woman who had bought the child, took the child back to the clinic in Port Harcourt, where she bought him, and abandoned him there,” he said.

According to him it was the phone call the woman, who had bought the child, made to the doctor who was in the police custody in Uyo that enabled them to trace the baby to the hospital. He said, “The biological mother sold the child through the doctor to the woman for N300,000.” Esther, 18, said David was her third baby and she could not take care of all of her children. She said she was given N150,000 from the proceeds from the sale of her baby.

Credit: punchng

Akwa Ibom Residents Warned Against Eating Ponmo

Residents of Akwa Ibom State have been admonished to stay away from the consumption of cow skin. The state government which spoke through its Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Godwin Afangideh, said that the cow skin, often referred to asIkpa Ebola or Ponmo had being the common cause of cancer and liver problems in the state.

He said that the state government, through the veterinary services directorate of the ministry, has embarked on a sensitisation campaign in some markets in the local government areas to talk to the people about the danger of consuming such meat.

He stated that the people who patronised cow skin were both exposed to cancer and liver problems as well as diarrhoea and hypertension, due to the high quantity of salt used for its preservation.

Read More: Punch

Workers Shut Down Akwa Ibom Assembly Complex

Workers in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Thursday started a three-day warning strike. The strike followed the alleged refusal of the state government to honour the agreement it reached with the workers’ union on the payment and implementation of a new consolidated salary structure.

The aggrieved workers blocked the assembly gates with plantain leaves and other objects, preventing visitors from gaining access to the assembly complex.

The workers also chanted protest songs in front of the assembly complex.


No Miracle Can Make APC Win Akwa Ibom- PDP Elders

Elders within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have condemned a call for the cancellation of the April 11 governorship election in Akwa Ibom, saying no miracle would make the All Progressives Congress (APC) win. The Eket Senatorial District Leaders Forum have lamented the call, saying it was made by a few opposition leaders out of greed and hypocrisy.

Led by former House of Representatives Leader and Minister of Land and Housing Chief Nduese Essien, the Eket Leaders say that there was clear evidence of a plot by opposition leaders to rubbish the outcome of the governorship elections, saying that the APC planned to “destabilize the electoral process through violence”.

Read More: SunNewsOnline

Us Alleges Massive Rigging in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has alleged electoral irregularities in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

In a press statement on Monday, while congratulation Nigerians on the governorship and House of Assembly polls, the embassy stated that the elections held in both states were inundated with irregularities.

“We have seen the reports of violence and alleged irregularities, particularly in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states”, the statement added, calling on aggrieved parties “to pursue their grievances peacefully in the judicial arena”.

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, the embassy said it regrets any loss of life and destruction of property.

“We commend the leadership of Nigeria’s political parties, notably President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, for urging their supporters to conduct themselves peacefully throughout the electoral process”, the statement added.

US therefore congratulated “the people of Nigeria and the Independent National Electoral Commission for an electoral process on April 11, 2015 that generally went well across the country and built on the success of the March 28 polling process”

My Dad Is Being Illegally Detained By Governor Akpabio , Daughter Cries Out

An everyday reader of www.omojuwa.com is reaching out for the public’s help, In her story she says her 72yr old dad is being illegally detained  in Akwa-Ibom by the state Governor Godswill Akpabio since saturday. She tells the full story of what happened below.

My dad, Maj. Gen. E. Akpan (rtd) had gone out to vote in his polling unit, when he got back he met a mammoth crowd in his compound. The Corpers who were amongst the crowd explained to him that they had nowhere else to run to with the ballot materials and that Godswill Akpabio’s thugs were on a rampage hijacking ballot boxes in all the local governments and carting them away to Akpabio in Government house, so they needed to run away with the ones in their possession for safe keeping and that they felt my father’s compound was the safest place to bring them too till the thugs go away.

On hearing this my dad started making frantic efforts to reach Inec Head office in Uyo to alert them on what’s happening in his village in Nsit Atai! However before contact could be established ?SSS, police and the army stormed my father’s compound and demanded to have access into the property! The youths immediately wanted to launch a protest but my dad hastily halted them saying he doesn’t want further disruptions to the electoral process. He asked his soldiers who are detailed to him to open up the gate and allow them in. So SSS drove into the compound in their armored vehicles while shooting their machine guns into the air!
My father had to appeal to them to calm down. At this point the SSS officials told my dad that he has been invited to their office for questioning, my dad’s soldiers immediately intervened saying they will not allow the General to be taken anywhere and that their job is to protect him! An argument ensued between my dad’s soldiers and the SSS before my dad cut in and said he will graciously go with them for questioning. They told my dad it will only take a couple of hours, my dad’s soldiers insisted on going with them and they agreed for two of them to come along. After a few hours of questioning Governor Akpabio ordered for my dad’s soldiers to be sent back to base which is the barracks! His aide too was sent away.
My dad was now all alone with no communication with the outside world for hours. They kept turning my family away saying we can’t see him. At about 9pm the family was now given access to my dad, he was weak and shaking and could barely utter a word! He was in a very bad shape and we were scared for his health, we begged and they agreed for a medical personnel to come and see him, as suspected his blood pressure was through the roof and he had to be given medication to arrest the situation before it got worse.
He was put in a dingy, dark and dirty cell room with a tattered, flimsy and disgusting mattress on the bare floor!
We were there till 12midnight and all they could tell us was that Governor Akpabio insist he’s held there indefinitely! This is day 2 and my 74 year old pensioner father has not eaten or received proper medical attention! He has given his statement and is still being held without cause! The holding facility is in a deplorable condition and we are concerned that this will worsen his health! My father is innocent of what he’s being accused of. Our dictator governor is well known for silencing and quenching anything that comes in the way of his atrocities!
He cannot stand a right standing citizen like my father because it makes him look bad which he is! They can continue with their “investigations” but Akpabio should please release my father from that dungeon! If my father dies in that cell just like all the others he has killed over the years this particular blood will take away peace from his life till he pays for it! For his own good let him do the needful! #releaseGeneralAkpan

Governor Akpabio Denies Gen. Buhari Use Of Uyo Stadium

Punch reports that,
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has refused the All Progressives Congress the use of Uyo Township Stadium for the hosting of President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Buhari was scheduled to visit Akwa Ibom on Thursday, but as the state government denied the APC use of the Uyo Township Stadium, the visit had to be postponed till after the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections.
The letter denying the APC the use of the stadium emanated from the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Youth and Sports, dated April 7, with ref. No. MYS/AD/146/VOL. 11/142 and made available to newsmen on Thursday.
The letter, which was signed by Mr. Nse Edem, on behalf of the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Akan Uko, stated that the request to use the stadium was denied because the Peoples Democratic Party in the state had applied to use it earlier.
“I am directed to refer to your letter of April 6, 2015 on the request for the use of Uyo Township Stadium and to inform you that the ministry had already approved the use of the stadium to the Peoples Democratic Party on April 9.
“You are by this letter please requested to look for any other alternative venue since the stadium had already been booked and would not be free for April 9.”
Reacting to the development, the Head of Media and Publicity, Umana Okon Umana Campaign Organisation, Mr. Iboro Otongaran, said the President-elect would not visit the state as scheduled due to the denial of the APC the use of the venue.
He said that efforts to get alternative venue had proved abortive as the party was so confident that the Uyo township stadium would be approved.

He called on the APC supporters not to worry, but to go out en masse on Saturday to vote for Umana as Akwa Ibom governor and all other APC candidates in the state House of Assembly.

Governors Of Abia And Akwa Ibom States Win Senatorial Elections

Governor Godswill Akpabio of AkwaIbom state and his Abia state counterpart, Theodore Orji won their senatorial contests in Saturday’s election.

Gov Akpabio polled a total of 422,009 to defeat APC’s Inibehe Okorie who had 15, 152 votes. Gov Orji pulled a total of 46,070 votes to win Ahamdi Nweke of APGA who pulled 10,204 votes. While Governor Akpabio would represent Akwa Ibom north east senatorial district in the next Senate Assembly, Governor Orji would be representing Abia central Senatorial zone.


Source – Kokomansion.com

I’ll Collapse If I See N5bn – Says REC Accused Of Taking Bribe

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom, Mr Austin Okojie, on Tuesday said he would collapse if N5billion was brought before him in cash.

Okojie said this while briefing accredited media professionals for the general elections in Uyo.

“I was welcomed to the state with a false report that I was given five billion naira to come and rig the election.”

He expressed displeasure over the report and urged journalists in the state to desist from reports capable of misrepresenting officials of the commission.

“Five days of my being posted to Akwa Ibom state, a newspaper published a report that I was given five billion naira to come and rig the election in favour of some candidates in the forthcoming elections.

“I was shocked to see such a report as I have worked in other states and I did not experience such a thing.

“I also worked as a journalist before proceeding to read law and I know the rules of the profession do not permit one to report falsehood.

“If I come across five billion naira now, I will collapse and perhaps I will not be here talking to you.

He said media professionals must uphold the ethics of the noble profession by reporting accurately without any form of bias.

“This is in view of the fact that the media plays immeasurable roles in the administration/management of elections.

He urged journalists to investigate stories before reporting.

He said INEC was ready to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with the electoral laws.

He said that over 95 percent of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) had been distributed in the state.

I Used To Eat From Dustbins – Governor Akpabio Of Akwa Ibom State

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has said he was once so poor he fed off waste bins from the streets.

In an audio clip posted by thinkakwaibom.blogspot.com, Akpabio said his experience living off the streets toughened him to become a better public servant years later.

He was speaking in Eket during the inauguration of a hotel, Sonak, owned by his elder brother, Isong Akpabio, a former public affairs manager of Mobil Producing Nigeria.

“I was on the street, struggling with other people to eat, sometimes from the dustbins,” Akpabio said.

“I knew that (my brother, Isong Akpabio) having worked in Mobil for a long time and Mobil provided the food, the car and everything for him…”

The governor’s brother, Isong, was among the numerous aspirants within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State who contested alongside Godswill Akpabio for the party’s governorship ticket in 2006.

“I felt I knew the people’s problem more than him (Isong Akpabio) that was why I told him wait for me, let me go first as governor,” Akpabio said, eliciting plenty of laughter from his audience.

“Yes, I knew the problems of the people. One of the major problems was that even your state capital did not look like a state capital. Another problem was that people were using your children as house-boys and house-helps. The third problem was that when you mentioned your name ‘Ekaette’, people looked down on you.

“So, we worked on those three things; your state capital is now the cynosure of all eyes, your children are now enjoying free and compulsory education, and now when you say you are from Akwa Ibom, people say, ‘oh, welcome and have a seat.”

Turning to his brother, he said: “Now, after 2015, you can contest (as governor). They will vote for you, after seeing what you’ve done here”.

Akpabio has a reputation for being one of Nigeria’s most profligate Governors who moves about with stashes of cash; doling them out with reckless abandon wherever he shows up.

Source – ekekeee.com

Rich Kids, Poor Kids: States And The Pot Called Federal Allocation – Ogunyemi Bukola

Yesterday budget and public data analysis platform BudgIT shared how much in total each state in Nigeria received as Federal Allocation in 2013. The list was divided into two. The top ten earner states:

Top 10 States

And the bottom ten:

Bottom 10 States

So this morning I decided to dance around the data a bit and see if numbers could talk. Here’s what numbers said:

My analysis is centred on the Top Four, and Top Six, states (the rich kids), and the Bottom Four, and Bottom Six, states (the poor kids). Figures are approximates.

The Top Four states (Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, and Bayelsa) received a total of N928.2 billion in Federation Allocations in 2013. This is 5 times the total allocation of the Bottom Four (Nassarawa, Osun, Ekiti and Ebonyi) who received N176.6 billion.

The Top Six states (Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos and Kano) received a total of N1.1 trillion in Federal Allocations in 2013. This is 4 times the total allocation of the Bottom Six (Kwara, Gombe, Nassarawa, Osun, Ekiti and Ebonyi) who received N272.4 billion.

Bayelsa’s N182.5 billion is more than the combined allocation of Nassarawa, Osun, Ekiti and Ebonyi (bottom four) – N176.6 billion. The N237.8 billion Rivers got is more than the combined allocation of Gombe, Nassarawa, Osun, Ekiti and Ebonyi (bottom five) – N223.1 billion. While top earner Akwa Ibom got N293.5 billion in 2013, the bottom six of Kwara, Gombe, Nassarawa, Osun, Ekiti and Ebonyi got N272.4 billion combined.


It gets even better.

Akwa Ibom got 7 times the total allocation of Ebonyi. This means Akwa Ibom got in one year what Ebonyi will get in 7 years if rates are fixed. Rich Kid Bayelsa got 4 times the allocation of Poor Kid Osun.

Numbers wouldnt stop talking so I went online to get the population data of the Rick Kids, and the Poor Kids. Here’s what I found:

Top 6

What did numbers say?

The Top Four earner states have a combined population of 17.5 million (2011 projection figures), add Lagos and Kano to that and the population more than doubles, to 39.3 million. Divide the total allocation received by population and you realize the Top Four got about N53,ooo per citizen. This figure comes down to N28,000 per citizen when Lagos and Kano are considered.

Let’s see what the poor folks are up to:

Bottom 6Bottom Four total population is about 11.5 million, this goes up to 17 million when Gombe and Kwara states enter the fray. N15,000 per citizen is what you get when total allocation of bottom four states is divided by the total population, this goes up to N16,000 per citizen when all six states are considered.

For individual states, Akwa Ibom: N64,000 per citizen is what Akwa Ibom got, Bayelsa is N93,000 per citizen, more than 5 times the N17,000 per citizen for Ebonyi.

A quick look at the map of Nigeria shows that Top Four states are from the oil-rich South-South region. That is not surprising. What is surprising is that only one state from the North, Nassawara (North-Central), is in the Bottom Four, with two from South-West (Osun and Ekiti) and one from South-East.

Numbers started speaking French when I compared the data with primary school enrollment figures, state GDP, WAEC pass rates, health reports etc.

Instead of having all 36 come to him every month, one wearing Louboutins, the other rubber slippers, to give one money for private jet back home and the other just enough to board a train, why cant Big Daddy just let the mothers of these kids take care of them?


Ogunyemi Bukola (@zebbook) writes from Lagos. www.zebbook.com