ENDLESS DETENTION OF CITIZEN ODUDU UKPANAH BY GOV. AKPABIO IS INJUSTICE TAKEN TOO FAR

Inibehe Effiong




Citizen Odudu Albert Ukpanah is the only son of Late Engr. Albert Jimmy Ukpanah from Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Odudu, 31, a brilliant and peace loving man holds a B. Sc. in Geophysics from the University of Calabar and an M. Sc. from Coventry University, United Kingdom.

The Late Engr. Albert Ukpanah was an outspoken chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He had served his party as a member of the State Working Committee of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State. He was also a one time Caretaker Vice Chairman of Ukanafun LGA of Akwa Ibom State.

Notably, aside being a thorn in the flesh of some prominent politicians and political office holders in his area, the late Engr. Albert Ukpanah was a vociferous opponent of the 2015 senatorial ambition of Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

Like several other persons in his area that subscribe to the PDP zoning policy, he believed that it was the turn of his area (Abak Federal Constituency) to produce the next senator to represent the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State in the Senate come 2015. He saw Akpabio’s Senate bid as a grave injustice to his people.

On Wednesday March 12, 2014 he was brutally murdered by dare-devil assassins at his Abak residence at about 9:40pm.

From the cogent, uncontradicted and plausible account given by the immediate family of the slain politician, the deceased asked his son, Odudu, who was the only person with him at the material time to bring three (3) plastic chairs for himself and yet to be unidentified visitors that he was expecting.

After bringing out the chairs as directed, Odudu went inside the living room and continued watching the European league which he was enjoying prior to the arrival of the visitors. His father later came into the living room and took drinks (Remy martins and 1 can stout), which he ostensibly offered his guests. Upon sensing that the expected meeting had lasted for too long, Odudu went out to check on his father only to meet him lying lifeless in the pool of his blood.

Mr. Odudu who was very deeply frightened immediately raised an alarm and sought the assistance of neighbours who came to his aid. They then helped him carry his father’s body to the hospital where he was pronounced dead by doctors. He made a report to the police division in Abak LGA where the incident took place the following morning after which one of his aunts took him away to Eket LGA for safety.

Therefore, while it is true that the police officers from the State Command did not meet him at home when they first arrived the scene, it does not imply that he escaped since the aunt had taken him away.

Let me also state that when the police officers from Abak arrived the scene, they saw the bottle of the Remy martins and the container of the can stout which they took away. Photographs evidencing this are there for all to see.

An investigation into the incident was taken over by the State Police Command which resulted in the production of a Police Investigation Report signed by one Sgt. Ibediro Nnamdi, the Investigating Police Officer, (IPO), which was leaked to the media and published by several newspapers in Akwa Ibom State, I have the report with me

For clarity and benefit of doubt, the opinion/recommendation part of the Police Investigation Report dated 25th March, 2014 and signed by the IPO, Sgt. Ibediro Nnamdi, is reproduced verbatim as follows:

“In view of the above findings, the following suggestions are proffered. Since investigation into the case is still on, it is wise to nose around for more information that may reveal the REAL KILLERS of Hon. (Engr.), Albert Ukpanah, AS THE KILLING MIGHT BE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ASSASSINS.
Above report is for your consideration and further directive, please” (emphasis mine).

I need to also mention here that in furtherance of its investigation into this case, the police had seized the GSM phone of the late Albert Ukpanah with an undertaking that same would be forwarded to the State Security Service (SSS) for forensic analysis since the deceased is believed to had communicated on phone with his yet to be identified guests before their arrival.

Till date, nothing has been heard of the result of the said forensic analysis by the SSS. Nigerians should ask the Akwa Ibom State Government, the SSS and the police about the outcome of the forensic analysis. A check with service providers would have revealed the call logs of the deceased shortly before he was murdered.

Instead of identifying the ‘REAL KILLERS’ of Albert Ukpanah as recommended by the IPO, the Akwa Ibom State Government led by Gov. Godswill Akpabio went on a frolic and had his only son, Odudu Ukpanah framed-up, arrested and charged to court on a totally senseless and trump-up charge of killing his own father.

A careful perusal of the proof of evidence filed alongside the information (charge) by the prosecution leads irresistibly to the conclusion that the paper on which the charge was preferred, have a far more value than the charge itself. There is absolutely no modicum of evidence, not even impliedly, establishing a nexus (link) between Odudu and the death of his father. It is just an audacious but shameless charade meant to cover the truth.

Those listed as witnesses are basically neighbours who responded to the alarm raised by Odudu. One even said in court during his testimony that he did not know why he was in court but later recalled that he was summoned to testify because he had made a statement to the police; a statement that did not incriminate Odudu in any way.

What on earth will make a young Masters Degree holder in Oil and Gas from one of the reputable universities in the UK and a well fared and very comfortable first and only son of an influential father think of taking the life of the man that meant the world to him? Why should Odudu kill the very father that sponsored his education abroad and bought him a car upon his return to Nigeria last year? Why?, and why?

There is this frivolous and very irresponsible propaganda that has been sold to credulous 
members of the public by agents of the state government that Gov. Akpabio had offered the deceased the sum of 2million naira on the day he was murdered to assist him in taking care of his wife’s failing health and that Odudu had killed the father to have the said money to himself.

Firstly, supposing without conceding that such money was actually offered to the deceased  by Gov. Akpabio, it is most unthinkable to say the least, for a sane person to even suggest that a person in the social and educational standing of Odudu will kill his father because of a paltry sum of 2million naira. This to me is a rape on logic and commonsense.

Secondly, did the governor called Odudu to inform him of his “generous offer” to the father? Since the governor had publicly admitted that he gave the said money, he should please tell us where and who the said money has been traced to?

Another lie being spread by the yes men of the government that I wish to puncture is the lie that Odudu broke the door to his father’s bedroom and carted away the purported 2mllion  naira. The truth of the matter is that one of Odudu’s aunts had advised the children of the deceased to search for and retrieve important documents for safety. Since the deceased had always locked his bedroom and the keys could not be found, the only option was to break the door. In the presence of relatives and neighbours, a carpenter was invited and he broke the door. This was in the evening of March 13, 2014 (a day after the incident).

As part of their investigation, the police had invited the carpenter to make a statement on what transpired which he did. Remarkably, the carpenter’s statement was discarded.

Since the emergence of the present regime in Akwa Ibom State in 2007, there has been an unprecedented upsurge in unresolved high profile politically motivated killings.

Quoting an annual report by the Nigeria Police Force, a Sunday PUNCH report of November 21, 2010 (page 3) said there were 74,064 murders and similar cases in Nigeria within two years.

A state-by-state analysis of this record ranks Akwa Ibom State with a population of 3.9m (2006 estimate) as being the highest with preponderance of such crimes. The police report said in 2009 alone, Akwa Ibom recorded 177 murders (most of which are said to be politically motivated), 62 attempted murders, one manslaughter, eight suicides, 21 attempted suicides, 320 assaults, 18 child stealing, 93 rape cases and indecent assaults, 29 kidnappings, among others. The 2011 figures marked a remarkable increase when compared to 2007.

Sadly, no single conviction has been recorded for these murders.

The innocent Odudu Ukpanah has been in custody for the past seven months while the state continue to play hide and seek with the case. So far, efforts to admit him to bail has not seen  fruition. On Monday December 15th, 2014 the court adjourned ruling on his bail application to January 7th, 2014.

The mother of Odudu is now critically ill with cancer. The family have expended all they have on litigation all in a bid to secure the release of the poor young man who they know is completely and totally innocent of the charge against him.

I am appealing to our friends and partners in the civil society, human rights community and the media to rise up to this very historic battle for justice. I appeal to human rights lawyers, activists, journalists all lovers of justice in this country to come to the rescue of this family. We have done it before, lets do it again. This is an injustice of the century.

Our voices must be heard for the Ukpanah’s. They have suffered enough, and it is time to put an end to this state sponsored madness and oppression. This seems to me a case where the killers are looking for the killers and the victims of the killing are being haunted to cover the truth.

Engr. Albert Ukpanah must not die in vain. His killers and their sponsors must not laugh last. His blood cries for justice and the time to act is now, not later.

Enough is enough.

Inibehe Effiong is a Human Rights Activist based in Lagos.

Email: inibehe.effiong@gmail.com
+2348065142135

GOV. AKPABIO; FREE ODUDU NOW, FOR IT IS YOU WHO MURDERED THIS SLEEP

Fejiro Oliver



“Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear; Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash: your picture in the paper nor money in the back either. Just refuse to bear them.” 
William Faulkner

One of the most stupid statement that Nigerians will soon stone Governor Godswill Akpabio for is trying to mock our intelligence through the security agents in his State that a trained UK Masters Degree holder in Oil and Gas from the renowned Coventry University will murder his father for a paltry sum of ‘N2 Million’, a meager amount that only Akpabio knows about, which no one else can attest to. But Nigerians just heard it. Akpabio did make us believe so. Little wonder Voltaire said “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” 

How Odudu Albert Ukpanah, who is also a product of Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene suddenly became a murderer in the eyes of Akpabio and an unjust law practiced by our society when there is NO single trace of even being a stubborn person is a rock that many of his accusers will break with the blood of their own children.

Seven months down the line and Albert lives helplessly in prison for no fault of his. We do not need any court judgment to conclude that he is innocent, as glaring evidences before us through detailed investigations, analysis, spiritually and physically has proven that he is a victim of power play; a case where the hunter becomes the hunted and the true killers oppressing the bereaved, while they strut the Akwa Ibom environs with the guts reminiscent of the Roman Emperor who can do an undo. Who dare challenge them?

The brutal assassination of Engr. Albert Ukpanah on the 12th of March 2014 will forever a leave a sour taste in the minds of those he left behind, but more harrowing is the experience of arresting Odudu on 27th May 2014, just three days after his father’s burial. While no one can search the conscience of a man, it is noteworthy to state before the general public what truly happened.

The Late Albert was not your everyday politician but a grassroot one, respected by all and sundry not just in his Senatorial district or the Abak area where he hails from but in the State. When he speaks, his word sinks into the hearts of electorates who decides the fate of a politician. A man with such influence is no man to play with when he says no to one’s political aspirations. Just few men who believe that power comes from God can stand his uprightness and sense of justice, while to the rest, what God cannot do, the gun will do.

It is not surprising then that on April 2nd 2014, the political machine attended a town hall meeting at Ikot Akpa Nkuk delegates who will decide the fate of the second term Senator at Oruk Anam. At the meeting were also present three persons who were not delegates, where it was agreed the House of Representatives should rotate between Ukanafun and Oruk Anan Federal Constituency. While at the meeting, a little shouting match began where one of those present stated that what God cannot solve, the gun can solve. And just a week after the comment made at the venue, the bloody assassination was carried out.

The Late Albert is also noted to have opposed Akpabio’s Senatorial ambition, insisting that the much preached about zoning should take place. As a personal friend of the governor, he alone could stand up to the governor, look at him in the face and dare him to contest if he will not lose. According to Gov. Akpabio who spoke when he heard of the death of his bosom friend, he stated that he had not seen Albert for two years, a blatant lie which even Lucifer will contest in heaven before God. Akpabio not only saw Albert in 2013 but saw 12 former State PDP officials of which Albert was among on December of that year for a supposed peace talk, which many people believed was a way of wooing them to his side towards his Senatorial ambition. The meeting was made public to the family by their patriarch who is still alive to confirm it.

In a congratulatory message advertised by the united 12 politicians in the State owned Pioneer Newspaper on 27th February 2014, Albert was a signatory, as well as another congratulating Unoma, the Governor’s wife for winning the Sun Newspaper as the most supportive wife of a governor. Can Akpabio now claim ignorance of this public fact and stand before the gods of Essien Udim to swear that he has not seen his friend before the ill fated day?

As at the time that Albert was killed, we put it to the State Governor and the State Security agencies handling the case that Odudu was in his room watching a Champions League match, while the father played host to some visitors. For those who don’t know the late politician; he does not allow his children to serve his guest drink, rather, he personally does, despite his age, and that day was no exception.

It behooves on Nigerians to begin to ask the analytical question how the issue of N2 Million came to be, which as earlier stated was only known to Akpabio and his God. It is same Akpabio who for God knows why told the family that he had seen Albert on the day he was murdered and gave him the sum of N2 Million. Quick check by this writer can authoritatively reveal that Albert is not known to keep huge amount of money in his house, but would rather approach the bank to lodge such. The last money paid into his Zenith Bank account which can be verified is N50,000.

For the records, Odudu is the only HEIR to Albert, with the singular right traditionally and legally to inherit all his wealth. Are our sensibilities not be insulted to believe that a young man with such potential of academic degree which will cause envy among his peers as well as every chance of inheriting the vast empire of his father will now take up arms against the very man who made him who he is? The police and SSS have more work to do than to keep him for obvious political reasons. On the day that he was killed, a rope was found on the ground beside him and spirits wouldn’t have held the rope. Human did and this is where the security agencies out to have beamed their forensic search on by finding out who held the rope that strangled the man from shouting before using an axe on him.

The issue of N2 Million being given is medicine after death. How did Odudu who spent over N2 Million in London know that such meager amount of money exchanged hands, or did someone call him from the Governor’s office? The police who took over the case with the findings signed by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Sgt. Ibederro Nnamdi has pointedly stated that ‘that the people that assassinated the deceased are likely to be the people that he was expecting” and such his killing is politically inclined.

That ends it all; Albert was killed by those people who he served drink. Albert was visited incidentally few minutes after he left the Governor and murdered in cold blood. Let’s not pretend about this; the Governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State can tell us better what they both discussed during the few minutes or hours they met that led to the poor man meeting his waterloo.

Placing Odudu on the dock to stand for a crime he knows nothing about amounts to placing the entire conscience of the country on trial. This is a trial that must not only be condemned but rejected in every home in Nigeria. For every law to take effect and a person imprisoned there must be witnesses to back it up and in this case, not a single witness has come out to testify. Even the deceased politician’s gateman who cleaned the blood due to pressure from those who visited never did on the orders of Odudu.

The court process imprisoning Odudu is not only an abuse of judicial powers which obviously is remote controlled from the powers that be but also a clear statement to the Nigerian Police who exonerated Odudu that they lack competence when it comes to investigations. When has the court become the law unto itself that it no longer needs evidence to pronounce a statement? 

The Odudu the world knows is not a politician and has no plan of becoming one. If anyone should be standing trials for this, without immunity, the Governor should be mounting the dock since he was the last person that had a meeting with Albert and not his innocent son. Come to think of it, the family should be the one pressing charges against anyone they accuse and not the State doing so. 

What is the interest of the Governor in this case? Why did the Governor make a Statement that those responsible will be brought to book and three days after the man’s burial; the heir was arrested and has since been imprisoned?

Nigerians may be silent on issues but not stupid enough to believe this tales by moonlight told under the fiery dark night. The family who are the ones feeling the pains have insisted that their son and brother be left off the hook, while they are allowed to mourn their father in peace. The mother has developed serious illness which may claim her life as a result of his son incarceration and God forbid that she meets the creator out of this anguish caused by the State Government. Those who should know better when Albert objected to Akpabio becoming Senator should speak up now to free their conscience from the cage they are currently battling; damn the consequence of what will happen and answer only to God.

The delay tactics of the DPP who have opposed every form of bail for Odudu is man’s inhumanity and wickedness to man. This is a case that the Judge should look into and take a quick decision with uprightness knowing that for any mistake made in this; generations abound that will suffer the sins of the father/mother. Make no mistake about this, for Odudu we will match the street of Uyo and dare the Government to do its worst, while allowing the court of public opinion to decide this case. The cry now is that let Odudu be free, not just granted bail, to spend the yuletide with his family. This is the cry of the family and the wailings of Nigerians who have taken interest in this case.

This tyranny by the Governor must be resisted by Akwa Ibomites and Nigerians for the worst tyranny is that painted in the picture in the name of injustice and carried out under the protection of the law. The witch cried at night and the baby died in the morning. Ask, Nigerians, Ask Governor Godswill Akpabio what truly transpired when he met Albert for “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver, Managing Editor of Daily Voice NG, Editorial Board Chairman of Secrets Reporters News and Media Consultant can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86

GOV. UDUAGHAN, UPU, OMENE AND THE MILLION DOLLAR SHAME THAT WILL LEAD TO THEIR DOWNFALL

Fejiro Oliver

“To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.” 
 Malcolm X
In the twilight towards the preparation of the 2015 general election, everyone always had the belief that the Urhobo apex union, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) was out to to show the world that they can no longer play a second fiddle to any tribe in Delta State.

But again, this is a union that was headed by the Late Gen. Patrick Aziza. Everyone knew that Aziza being a former Army General cannot be bought over, as he will look you boldly in the face and call your bluff, no matter how highly politically placed you are. His fear of being the Urhobo leader gave Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan sleepless night, knowing that with him in the saddle, his ill-gotten wealth cannot be used to bribe him.

And then, the unexpected happened, as the President General slept and never woke up. He went to meet the celestial with hope that he will give spiritual guidance to the aspirations of the Urhobos. Then most of us knew that the game was up, as the UPU will now be sold to the highest bidder. Then came the razzmatazz of the new PG, Joe Omene who played to the gallery by disowning some prominent Urhobos like Chief Ighoyota Amori, Ben Igbakpa, Olori Magege, Hon. Monday Igbuya and Jaro Egbo for daring to pitch their tent with an Anioma candidate in the person of Sir Anthony Chuks Obuh. They ordered them out of Urhobo gathering until they come to their senses that the Uvwiamuge declaration is obeyed to the last letter.

When most of us again saw this, we knew that Omene has just begun his dance of shame, haven being a secret betrayal looking for money to oil his dwindling fortune. Where on earth are people stopped from exercising their freedom to association or right to support an aspirant? While the likes of Amori, Jaro, Igbakpa and Egbo saw the need to ‘beg’ the overrated Omene led UPU, the duo of Igbuya and Magege called their bluff, an action I believed others should have also done.

Despite their so called threat, Igbuya still won the primaries in an Urhobo land!. This was enough to tell the world that Omene and his co travelers of doom were only acting tough without actions to back it up. I long gave up on UPU when I was kidnapped by the thief Servant of Niger State, Aliyu Babangida, and they kept mute. People who had known me to be the firm supporter of the Uvwiamuge declaration were shocked that throughout my two weeks in the kidnappers den, mum was the word from a so call body that is meant to protect all Urhobo sons. Minds began to wander if the Arewa union, Afenifere or the Ohaneze Ndigbo will allow a prominent journalist of their loins whom the whole world got interested in his case to be left alone. But to once again I proved that with or without them, we can always walk free from our captors, I did stroll out of the prison wall. Then I aligned with Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who despite being an Anioma; his team was part of my rescue team.

Today it is crystal clear that what many of us foresaw in UPU led by Omene has come to pass. When Secrets Reporters News broke out the news that they had been bribed with the alleged sum of $1 Million to selected David Edevbie as the sole Urhobo candidate, they called the news outlet a lying whistle medium, but they have been proven right by the announcement of Edevbie as the choice. What they don’t realize is that Secrets Reporters have been part of all their secret meetings and such has first hand information of all their plans. What they don’t realize is that Fejiro Oliver is just the Editorial Board Chairman of the news outfit with her two Editors based in foreign lands, yet with ears to the ground and thus can feed Nigerians with hidden information. As the Editorial Chairman, I believe all the reports of Secrets Reporters.

The appointment of Edevbie by the so called screening committee is not only immoral, unethical but against the spiritual law of justice. Nobody can claim to be more Urhobo than me, as my father served as the UPU Secretary in two States and later the President. Despite my not being brought up in Urhobo land and a traveler across the globe, I was made to speak and understand the Urhobo language more than those born, brought up and based in Urhobo settlement, so let no one come here telling me that I don’t know anything about the UPU or Urhobo.

When the initial list was sent by the UPU, it was just Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege and Paulinus Akpeki who made it. Edevbie name only got inside after much lobby. How then did a man who lobbied to have his name in the first list suddenly become the sole choice of the UPU? Urhobos must begin to know that the real enemies we have is the UPU and not the Amoris or Igbuyas, or were these people part of UPU leadership?

The list is not an Urhobo list but an Uduaghan own and thus MUST be rejected by all well meaning Urhobos in Nigeria and in Diaspora. Omene should come before the shrines of Urhobo land and swear that he never went to Uduaghan house in Warri at about 11.00am Nigerian time where he met Solomon Funkemeke, Ayiri Emami and the SSG, Ovuzuorie Macaulay where he presented the sealed envelope bearing Edevbie name to the governor. He should swear before the gods that Uduaghan never said, “Have you gotten a candidate? Na Edevbie I wan work with o”. I dare him to take this challenge. I also dare him to deny that he was not bribed by the Governor, and I will also swear by the God I serve if what I write is false.

When I advocated for Amori to be the Senator, it’s because I see him more Urhobo than those who want his head. In the past I wanted his head, but today I know better that the silent killer of the Urhobo is Omene and his corrupt musketeers. I put it to Edevbie that he never rejoiced when Aziza died and he said, “Aziza death is the death of Omo-Agege UPU. Omene UPU is the real UPU”. 
Again, let him swear like Omene that he never rejoiced inwardly.

The Edevbie choice can never fly anywhere, not even for a Chairmanship position. Pray, where is it anywhere in the world that a tribal union will meet a governor, known to hate Urhobos so much to submit a name that has not been ratified by the entire UPU? A weak Governor like Uduaghan who does not have the balls to contest for the Senate, but stepped down to decide the Urhobo candidate is slight on Urhobos and a shame to the UPU. In case the UPU does not know what they have done, they have succeeded in giving their coffin to Uduaghan who will be more than glad to perform the dust to dust rite. Today Gov. Godswill Akpabio is going for Senate and may still produce the State Governor, because the people believed he performed well and are ready to accept his candidate. But this cannot be said of Uduaghan, who chickened out of the Senate race, because he has no control over his constituency delegates and will also lose the governorship position.

I am glad the death of UPU happened during my time, as I can tell the next generations on how I warned them, yet they insisted on selling their conscience for an alleged paltry sum of N190 Million. The loser of this is not Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege but the entire Urhobos who saw him as their beacon of hope; a man that was almost portrayed as a bad man in the media but succeeded in winning the hearts of Urhobos through his contributions to the unity of UPU.

This is where Obaisi has to join hands with another candidate to battle this illegality and impunity about to rear its ugly head in Urhobo land. This is where I recommend that he join forces with Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, whose governorship aspiration will favor the Urhobos than any other one. With Senator Okowa, Omo-Agege can be sure that the Urhobos will not play a second fiddle to anyone. Luckily enough, the past elections have proven that Okowa controls the Delta North axis while Omo-Agege controls the Central alongside Amori. With the two joining forces, Okowa will sure come out as the winner of the PDP primaries. This is my appeal to him, my appeal to Urhobos that they stand solidly behind Omo-Agege as we plead with him to support Okowa so that we nip this evil in the head. Obaisi, let your heart melt towards the man I introduce to you and forget animals like the Omene led UPU for to them “Betrayal is common for men with no conscience.” (Toba Beta). Just believe.

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver, Managing Editor of Daily Voice NG, Editorial Board Chairman, Secrets Reporters News and Media Consultant can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86