Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and his wife, Mrs Ekaete Akpabio, have threatened to sue an investigative journalist, David Hundeyin, for linking them with the killers of an Akwa Ibom job seeker, Iniobong Umoren.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Odiko Macdon, had later in a statement, said the police arrested 20-year-old Uduak Frank Akpan, who allegedly lured Umoren to his residence under the pretext of offering her a job, but raped, killed and buried the young graduate in a shallow grave.
The murder of the young job seeker angered the Nigerian Twitterati with many calling for justice, and that the perpetrators of the heinous act be brought to book.
Hundeyin subsequently published a report via newswirengr titled, ‘Murder in Uyo: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?’
In the report, the journalist claimed he analysed the telephone calls of the prime suspect in the murder case, Akpan.
According to the report, Akpan called a number of people after the murder of the female undergraduate. Hundeyin alleged that one of the people the prime suspect spoke with was one Kufre Effiong, a worker in the Niger Delta Civil Service.
The reporter also alleged that Effiong and Akpan “met physically at a certain 58G, Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo.”
The reporter further alleged that Akpan worked for an “illegal organ trafficking ring to feed the booming global black market organ trade.”
He later tweeted via @DavidHundeyin alleging, “It has just come to my attention that Davok Suites, the hotel at the centre of the 58 Unit G/S.9, Unit G, Ewet Housing Estate nexus involving Kufre Effiong and Frank Uduak Akpan is owned by none other than Ekaette Akpabio, wife of Godswill Akpabio.
“In other words, this place where Frank Uduak Akpan, fresh from murdering Ini Umoren came to meet Kufre Effiong, belongs to the wife of Kufre’s boss and Federal Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio. So which politician has Kufre been ‘running errands’ for?”
However, reacting in a letter dated May 12, 2021, Akpabio, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and his wife stressed that the building did not belong to them.
The couple stated this in the letter served Hundeyin through their lawyer, Otobong Inyang of Star Attorneys.
The letter was titled, “Publication Of False And Defamatory Statements Against His Excellency, Sen. (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio And Her Excellency, Mrs Ekaete Unoma Akpabio: Demand For Immediate Retraction And An Apology.”
It partly read, “We hasten to make a point that assuming (though without conceding) that Kufre Effiong is a staff of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and/or one of its contractors, Senator Akpabio does not know, has never met and has never had any contact whatsoever with him. Neither Sen Godswill Akpabio nor his wife, Mrs Ekaette Akpabio, had anything whatsoever to do with the horrific death of Iniobong Umoren.
“Secondly, neither Davok Suites (which is a corporate entity) nor the land housing it belongs to Mrs. Ekaete Akpabio.
“Indeed, a proper search at the Corporate Affairs Commission would have disclosed to you that Mrs. Ekaete Akpabio is neither one of the Directors nor Shareholders of Davok Suites.”
Akpabio and his wife, therefore, demanded an immediate retraction of the publication and an unreserved public apology, adding that failure to act within two weeks of receipt of the letter would attract a lawsuit.