From Fred Itua, Abuja
A Rights group, Akwa Ibom Integrity Alliance, has asked supporters of Senator Bassy Albert Akpan, to desist from a smear campaign against Governor Udom Emmanuel.
In a statement by its chairman, Stephen Abia and made available to newsmen, he said it was unfair and uncharitable for the senator to transfer blames of his travails to the doorsteps of Governor Emmanuel who “neither originated the charges nor even knows of the facts of the case.”
“Finding by our team of professionals, has shown that Governor Emmanuel was not in office as a governor when the case of bribery and corruption against Bassey Albert Akpan commenced,” Abia said.
He further noted that the conclusion of the case, which is expected to come up on Friday this week at the Federal High Court in Uyo, was purely on the heels of a probe of an alleged slush funds against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, where part of the funds where allegedly linked to a certain Jide Omokoro in connection to car donations amounting to N204 million.
The group also added that the case which is almost coming to conclusion in few days time should be allowed to decide the true faith of the senator, rather than embarking on a smear campaign against the Akwa Ibom State governor who was not a party to the initial allegations.
“Throughout the duration of this trial and till this moment, there is no record that the Akwa Ibom State government was a party in the case, nor can it be said that Governor Emmanuel or any of his appointees had testified in the case.
“It is therefore worrisome that Senator Bassey Albert would come out to point fingers at the Governor for a sin he knew nothing about when he had not assumed office,” the group said.