By G9ija

Senator Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday alleged blackmail as the campaign against his emergence as Senate President heightened with Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Network Against Corruption And Trafficking (NACAT) alleging that his enthronement could be a reward for corruption.

The group in a press conference in Abuja urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the immediate past Akwa Ibom State governor who is also the immediate past minister of Niger Delta, NAN reports.

The group made the call at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Justice Ojefia, Executive Director, Legal, NACAT cited an audit report of Akwa Ibom State treasury between 2011 and 2015.

“To make Akpabio a Senate President is a reward for monumental corruption orchestrated in Akwa Ibom and Ministry of Niger Delta and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“How will Akpabio be allowed to preside over the same Senate when he accused the entire Senators as being behind the corruption in NDDC during the NDDC probe?

He said that giving Akpabio Senate President mandate is to whittle down the fight against corruption.

“He will enact laws that will weaken the EFCC and ICPC since he has cases with them,’’ Ojefia said.

In his reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Akpabio, Mr Jackson Udom refuted the allegation which he described as blackmail.

According to Udom, every public officer could be investigated after leaving office.

“Investigation is no conviction. Every public officer could be investigated after leaving office and that is the right thing to do.

“Sen. Akpabio left office eight years ago after a meritorious service to Akwa Ibom and his legacies and performance as the state governor from 2007-2015, are still visible in the state.

“The question then is, why this letter to the EFCC now? Why all these blackmail and lies now? The answer is not far-fetched.

“Akpabio wants to be Senate President, he remains the candidate to beat and he must be brought down at all costs by those who can’t match his acceptance by his colleagues.

“His colleagues in the Stability Group are working round the clock to make him the Senate President of the 10th Senate, through the support of their colleagues across party lines.

“Their major concern is to give stability to the President-elect’s administration when it comes on stream on May 29, 2023,’’ Udom said in refuting the allegations of corruption against Akpabio. (NAN)