Posted by News Express | 15 January 2015 | 3,580 times
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has opened up on why Odudu Ukpanah is being detained and tried in connection with the murder of his father, late Chief Albert Ukpanah, a frontline grassroots politician. The governor, who was reacting to calls by some activists for Odudu’s release, cautioned against politicising the issue.
Speaking today during the inauguration of the governorship campaign council at the PDP secretariat in Uyo, Akpabio said: “It is not totally surprising that during political era such as this, politicians would use anything to condemn one another just to score cheap political goals. This trend could be seen in the sponsorship of some misguided individuals, claimed to be human rights group by politicians.”
Akpabio disclosed that what led to the arrest, detention and prosecution of Ukpanah was as a result of inconsistencies in his actions on the death of his father, late Albert Ukpanah.
The governor stated that Ukpanah had visited him two days before he was murdered to seek his support for the treatment of his wife who, according to the late Ukpanah, was having a degree four cancer and needed N4 million to be paid to the hospital for chemotherapy.
Akpabio said, moved with pity for Ukpanah who he never saw for a while before that Tuesday, he gave him N2 million and instructed that he should come back on Thursday so that he would arrange for the woman to be flown abroad.
He further stated that on hearing that the man was murdered; he was sad and personally paid a condolence visit on the family where Odudu informed him that the late father, on the fateful day, had called him on phone to set three chairs outside for his expected visitors as he too was on his way back home.
Odudu, according to the governor, had arranged the chairs as directed by the father and also ushered in the visitors who he said left with the father outside and went inside to watch European Premier League on DSTV.
The governor said: “What led to the investigation of Odudu was when he came out to discover that the father had been assassinated, and in the pool of his blood, he neither raised the alarm nor reported the matter to the police for four days.”
He added that “instead of reporting the matter to appropriate security agencies, Odudu carefully washed the walls and the floor where the blood was splashed, deposited the corpse in a private morgue, broke into the late father’s bedroom and smashed the car to gain access to search for documents.” According to Akpabio, “It was the height of political blackmail for some politicians to now claim that it is my government that killed Ukpanah.”
He argued that Ukpanah had been his friend for a very long time and was not even going into political contest in the elections, and there was therefore no need insinuating that his assassination was politically motivated.
The governor maintained that since Odudu has some explanations to make to the police and the court as a prime suspect, he would be freed and acquitted by the court if he is not found guilty.
Akpabio who decried the high rate of homicide in the state said as at date over 116 cases were being investigated. He said there are so many recent decided cases of sons killing their fathers and spouses killing themselves in the state and that soon he will authorise the documents to be published to let the general public be in the know of all what that transpired.
•Photo shows Odudu Ukpanah.
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