There are indications that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has unfrozen accounts of the Benue State government, but no word is out on accounts of the Akwa Ibom government said to have been frozen, too, within the last 48 hours.
Benue officials had claimed the government was being persecuted because its chief executive, Samuel Ortom, defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There were suggestions that Akwa Ibom’s travails are being orchestrated from Abuja by a group centred around a former governor.
Akwa Ibom Information Commissioner, Charles Udoh, had ruffled feathers when he announced on Wednesday night that the accounts of the state had been frozen by the EFCC.
But an unnamed official of the EFCC told a national newspaper, “The case is already at the Appeal Court since they challenged our powers to investigate the accounts of the state and the matter has not yet been determined and we cannot embark on self help.
“So, we challenge the state government to name the banks in which the accounts were reportedly frozen, the account numbers and the amount standing in the accounts to prove to the world that indeed what they are saying is true.
“We believe strongly that some elements are deliberately trying to blackmail the EFCC by boldly lying against the commission all in a veiled bid to drag it into politics. This is quite unfortunate and a disservice to this country”.
Meanwhile, two commissioners in Akwa Ibom: Victor Antai of Culture and Tourism; and Ibanga Akpabio of Labour, Productivity and Manpower Planning, who mustered the courage to join well-wishers to welcome defecting former Governor Godswill Akpabio to the state, have been sacked by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
At a well-attended reception at the Ikot-Ekpene stadium Akpabio dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He danced with APC chieftains, Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and Bola Tinubu, as he announced his departure from the opposition to the mainstream party.
Akpabio denied that pressure from anti-graft was behind his move. He also took to television to justify his actions as angry indigenes took to social media to post an amalgam of videos where he had praised Udom and endorsed him for a second term.
His alleged past sins against the state and people of Akwa Ibom, forgotten for three years, resurfaced on social media.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Emmanuel Ekuwem, said Mr Antai and Mr Akpabio were sacked from the State Executive Council because of their “reluctance to comply with good governance processes of government”.
And for his comments at the rally in Ikot-Ekpene where Akpabio defected, that the 16 years of PDP rulership in Akwa State was a waste, former Lagos Governor and APC leader, Bola Tinubu, is the butt of jokes from former presidential aide, Reno Omokri.
Said former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide, in a series of tweets, Omokri: “Dear Tinubu. You said PDP’s 16-year rule in Akwa-Ibom was a waste. Victor Attah ruled the first 8 years. Akpabio ruled the second 8 years. Both men are now in APC. My question is this: Is APC a WASTE RECYCLING PLANT? If so, then PDP has recycled its waste to APC and is now clean!”