By 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.?
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 and Media Consultant can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 or [email protected] Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86