The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has disowned media reports linking him and Scott Tommey to a petition on alleged corruption.
The senator stated that the allegation is a figment of the imagination of its purveyors and sponsors, although the allegation was said to have been received by the United Kingdom’s Fraud Office.
A statement signed by Akpabio’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Jackson Udom, called on the public to disregard the news, noting that the allegation is a calculated attempt to tarnish the hard-earned image of the minister over the years.
The statement titled: RE: UK Fraud Office Receives Petition Against Akpabio, Scott Tommey, Begins Investigation, read: “The attention of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has been drawn to a fabricated fairytale making the rounds and written by one Jackson Ude and published by Pointblank news on the aforementioned subject.
“Ordinarily, the Honourable Minister would have ignored the gibberish, except that it is expedient for purposes of setting the records to clear the air over the falsehood perpetrated by serial blackmailers whose stock-in-trade is to indulge in smear campaigns for pecuniary reasons.
“First and foremost, it is important to state as a preliminary point that His Excellency Senator Godswill Akpabio is not aware of the pendency of any petition/investigation against him at the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office.
“However, It is safe to say that the purported petition, investigation merely exist as a figment of imagination in the minds of the blackmail merchant(s).
“For the record, Senator Akpabio does not own any Foreign Account or business in the United Kingdom. He has no investment through a proxy. The centrality of his political life or career has been pro publico bono (for public good). He has made huge sacrifices as a consummate politician to better the lot of many who have come in contact with him.
“The former Senate Minority Leader knows Scott Ikot Tommey as a businessman, just as he knows a host of other businessmen and contractors with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Senator Akpabio supervises the NDDC and has worked tirelessly to make a mark in the past few years as the supervisory Minister over the Commission.
“At the risk of repetition, it is categorically denied herein that Scott Tommey is and has been a business front for money laundering on behalf of Senator Akpabio. Scott Tommey’s contractual engagements with the NDDC predates Senator Akpabio’s appointment as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“It is therefore manifestly evident that the publishers of Pointblank news cannot attest to the veracity of this spuriously fabricated blackmail which offends the ethos of modern journalism.
“Senator Godswill Akpabio possesses a sterling personality that transcends cheap blackmail. His meteoric rise in life, economic acumen, garnered in his over 35 years of successful law practice and his experiences in the private sector, his political clout stands him out as a Nigerian politician and businessman of influence.
“He served as Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State for six solid years; Governor of Akwa Ibom State for eight years, Minority Leader of the 8th Senate and currently serves as a member of the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria.
“Senator Akpabio is a credible Nigerian who has over the years been committed to the transformation of Nigeria. He has shown great commitment to service in more than two decades of being in public office.
“We challenge the authors of this blackmail to publish and substantiate such claims and documents which they allege link(s) the Honourable Minister to Money laundering.”
Udom, however, warned members of the public to ignore the said publication and the publisher(s) of the infantile and unverifiable defamatory publication.
The statement demanded the publisher(s) to retract the publication within seven clear days with an apology or risk the wrath of the law on criminal defamation.