By Clifford Ndujihe
A lawyer, Mr Leo Ekpenyong, has picked holes in the allegations of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, against minister-designate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over mishandling of constituency projects.
SERAP had on Sunday, petitioned Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to “jointly and urgently invite senators Godswill Akpabio and Isa Misau for interrogation and further questioning over alleged diversion of constituency projects for personal use.”
The ICPC had last week stated that it recovered from the premises and farmland allegedly belonging to the senators, equipment meant for constituency projects in some local government areas of Akwa Ibom and Bauchi states.
Countering SERAP, Ekpenyong, in a letter to EFCC, ICPC, and Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, said the group’s allegations were mischievous and politically-motivated.
Enumerating Akpabio’s projects in the three senatorial districts of Akwa Ibom State between 2015 and 2019, he argued that the senator was not the contractor that handled the projects.
He cautioned SERAP “to refrain from allowing itself to be used as a willing tool in the hands of attention-seeking, desperate politicians.
“We challenge SERAP, therefore, to prove its claim without which we will be compelled to seek lawful redress against their spurious, irrational and irritating tissue of blatant lies.”
Ekpenyong, who is also the Managing Director, De-bongos Media, said incessant calls and smear campaigns against Akpabio started shortly before his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari for ministerial appointment and was amplified immediately thereafter.