The Election Transparency Group has called for the arrest and prosecution of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over his involvement in the falsification of results of the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial election in 2019.
A High Court in Akwa Ibom State had sentenced Peter Ogban, a Professor of Soil Science at the University of Calabar, to three years in prison for manipulation of election results involving Akpabio.
Ogban was the Returning Officer in the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District election in 2019.
He was prosecuted by the Independent National Electoral Commission and found guilty of altering results of the election to favour of Akpabio, who was the All Progressives Congress candidate, against the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Senator Chris Ekpeyong.
ETG, in a statement on Saturday by its Convener, Dr. Kazeem Adekunle, asked how the INEC Returning Officer will be jailed, while the person for whom he committed the electoral fraud is a Minister.
The group said it is on record that Akpabio was the mastermind of the criminal act for which Prof. Ogban was jailed, adding: “He (Akpabio) was the beneficiary of the fake over 61,000 votes recorded for APC in Essien Udim Local Government where 19,455 voters were accredited.
“It is our opinion that it is hypocritical on the side of INEC for the commission to have prosecuted only Ogban, leaving Akpabio, who was the mastermind and beneficiary of the electoral fraud, untouched.
“That the same Akpabio is even occupying the exalted office of a Minister and member of the Federal Executive Council is an insult on the collective sensibility of Nigerians.
“It is also another clear confirmation of the deceit in President Muhammadu Buhari’s to fight against corruption.
“We therefore demand that Senator Godswill Akpabio be arrested and made to face trial for being the sponsor of the criminal act on which the executioner, Prof. Ogban, has been jailed.”