Godswill Akpabio, an aspirant for the position of the Senate Presidency and senator-elect for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District is set to publish the names of senators-elect he has given money in exchange for votes.
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State has been putting pressure on other senators-elect to endorse him as the sole candidate for the Senate Presidency.
Top sources in the ruling All Progressives Congress also said Akpabio has been throwing around the name of the ‘President-elect’, Bola Tinubu, saying he has his support and using that to further pressurise the senators-elect.
Another source said” Akpabio wants to play a fast one on the senators elect by publishing the names of those that have collected $10,000 each. He does not care about the embarrassment it will cause the senators-elect and their constituents as he is only interested in blackmailing them publicly. He believes that publishing the names will force the senators not to endorse other contenders with signatures” the source revealed
Akpabio is among the nine contenders for the Senate presidency of the 10th Assembly, which is expected to be inaugurated in June.
He has refused to honour an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the excuse of ill health.
He was last Friday re-invited over allegations of abuse of office and misappropriation of billions of Naira.
The EFCC earlier invited Akpabio to appear for questioning on March 29 but the lawyer representing the Senator-elect, Umeh Kalu (SAN), in a letter to the anti-graft agency said his client would be unable to honour the invitation due to his ill health.
The lawyer said Akpabio was undergoing treatment for pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmia and therefore asked the antigraft agency to pick another date.
According to the lawyer, Akpabio had already arranged medical appointments overseas.
However, the EFCC wrote another letter asking Akpabio to come to its headquarters in Abuja on May 9, 2023.
The letter dated April 13, 2023, was received by Akpabio’s lawyers, Seasons Law Firm the following day.
The letter titled, ‘Investigation Activities Re: Senator Godswill Akpabio’s Appointment Letter Of Invitation’ was signed by ACE II SM Ala, Head, CMU-1.
The letter reads, “I refer to your letter number dated March 27, 2023 on the above subject. In view of the above, you are kindly requested to inform your client Senator Godswill Akpabio to personally report for an interview with the undersigned through the Head, CMU-1 team on 9th May, 2023 at 5th Floor, EFCC Headquarters Plot 301/302 Institutions and Research District. Jabi, Abuja at 10:00am.”
According to another source, Akpabio is set to publish the names of senators-elect he gave $10,000 and use the fake endorsements as a ploy to blackmail the EFCC into backtracking on its move to investigate him for corruption.
One of the Senators elect who spoke to our correspondent said, “If Senator Akpabio does not have a hidden agenda and also skeleton in his cupboard, why is he trying to use the name of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu to hoodwink the Senators-elect to sign his phantom and ill-timed endorsement to become the sole candidate for the election for the office of the Senate President.
“Senator Godswill Akpabio and his cohorts are busy sharing $10,000 to senators-elect and mounting pressure on them to sign an endorsement support letter for his desperate ambition of becoming the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This orchestration of collecting signatures is his grand ploy to evade EFCC’s May 9, 2023 invitation.
“Those Senators he gave $10,000 won’t vote for him including those following him. Mark my word, people that collected the money and endorsed him with their signatures like Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central), Solomon Olamilekan (Lagos West), Barau Jibrin (Kano North) and Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East) won’t vote for Akpabio because they know he cannot be trusted. Akpabio is too corrupt to be trusted with the Senate Presidency. Don’t forget the embarrassment we saw in the NDDC when he was Minister of Niger Delta affairs. Even if he publishes the names of those he gave bribe, nobody will support a failed project like Akpabio,” the senator elect said.