July 15, 2024

OBA’s conviction was politically motivated – YPP

OBA's conviction was politically motivated - YPP

Ofonime Honesty, Uyo

Young Progressives Party (YPP) has re-echoed the sentiments of its members and supporters that the conviction of its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State was politically motivated.

The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, on December 1st, 2022, had sentenced the governorship hopeful and serving Senator, Obong Bassey Albert (OBA) to 42 years imprisonment on six count charges bordering on graft.

He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The YPP State Chapter, in a press conference on Saturday, said Senator Albert never contravened the law and was unjustly punished.

The position was earlier upheld by the Akwa Ubok Abasi Campaign Organization which is the candidate’s campaign structure. The organization had labelled the conviction as a ‘travesty of justice.’

Speaking on behalf of the party, YPP State chairman, said the purported offence of receiving vehicles from a government contractor while serving as a government official, did not apply to Senator Albert, as the car gifts were received after he had resigned as Finance Commissioner, to run for the 2015 governorship election.

“Before now, the State Government through its contractors have donated Bullet Proof Cars and SUVs to Pastor Umo Eno (PDP governorship candidate) even when he was still the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources.

Let us put this side by side with the recent court case involving Senator Bassey Albert Akpan with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). Wasn’t he charged for receiving unsolicited car gifts, even after leaving office as Commissioner for Finance, in aid of his gubernatorial campaigns in 2015? If OBA attracted a lawsuit for receiving cars after leaving office, what about Umo Eno who received them while in office? What is the difference now? Can’t we see therefore that OBA’s case was politically motivated?”, the party said in its statement to the press.

YPP said the PDP is perturbed by OBA’s acceptability and has therefore resorted to underhand deals with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC):

“We have received credible intelligence that Governor Udom Emmanuel–led administration through agents of the state and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have engaged in buying of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) from unsuspecting members of the public across the 31 Local Government Areas. They are also obtaining at least 50 VIN numbers from voters across all the 4,354 polling units in Akwa Ibom State. These emerging sharp practices reportedly go on through heavy financial inducement of the largely poor people who have been impoverished by the administration since 2015.

“Furthermore, intelligence also revealed that some Local Government Offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been relocated to apartments of the State Government in the guise of renovations. This started soon after the collections of PVCs were announced by INEC. More worrisome also is that across the local government areas, PDP buses are seen ferrying INEC’s officials for the distribution of PVCs. What does this portend? Is this not an open statement of collusion between PDP and INEC?

“We are also reliably informed that state government’s ICT experts hobnob with some officials of the State INEC at Monty Suits at Nsikak Eduok Way owned by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Rt. Hon. Monday Uko and Signature By Royalty Hotels, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, owned by the PDP’s Gubernatorial Candidate, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno.

“Is the state administration now part of INEC? We, therefore, seek an urgent explanation from the State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC over these unpalatable developments and call on the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to carry out detailed investigations and bring offenders to book.”

Andy however said his party is confident of countering PDP’s perceived rigging plot given the party’s acceptability across the state: “our acceptability across Akwa Ibom State is exceedingly phenomenal.

As you all know, we fielded well-certified candidates who have been tested and trusted in their previous and current positions of responsibility.

Moreso, our candidates, in line with the manifesto and guiding principle of our party, are armed with lofty programmes to bring about positive impacts in the state once elected.”

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