Rumours of governor’s membership simmer
Nwoko’s firm now suspects defense attorney
Plot of AG to invoke the “no case submission” conspiracy to free suspects uncovered
There is outrage in Uyo following an executive order by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel to the State Attorney General, Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko, directing the later to ensure the relocation of the case file of suspected Akwa Marine Cult group of Midim Clan in Essien Udim LGA from Abuja to Uyo.
Suspected members of the dreaded cult group who have been terrorizing the area were picked up by the Police on the orders of the Inspector General of Police. The suspects who were been protected by some top politicians in government are currently under investigation.
In a crucial meeting during PDP stakeholders caucus held at the Governor’s country home in Onna, Udom directed the Commissioner of Justice, Barr Uwwmedimo Nwoko, to ensure that all pending charges against members of the Akwa Marine cultist group are withdrawn from Abuja back to the state. The move is a prelude to a plot to undermine investigation and scuttle the trial of the suspects to avoid what the likelihood of the suspects implicating their sponsors mostly senior government officials.
The Governor’s directive which was issued following pressure on him by his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to intervene with the weight of the machinery of government became necessary as it was reported that the complainants have rebuffed all entreaties and threats by interested parties in the state towards forcing them to abandon the investigation by the Special Investigative Panel set up by the IG in Abuja.
“The thinking is that when the matter is brought back to the state, the victims and complainants will either be cowed to abandon the many criminal charges against these hoodlums or in the event of failure the AG (Nwoko) will then invoke the powers in his office to file a no case submission to free the suspects”, said a source familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity since she was not authorized to speak on the matter.
The source said the Governor who initially not in support of showing solidarity with the suspects considering the many lives they have taken seems to have been blackmailed by some forces from Essien Udim who reminded Udom that the only way to succeed in 2019 is by adopting the tactics of winning elections through criminal mercenaries, thuggery, rigging and judicial manipulations.
With the involvement of the Governor, the cult group have been emboldened to continue terrorizing non members within Midim and neighbouring towns and villages in Essien Udim LGA, the hometown of former Governor, Godswill Akpabio.
Investigation by our reporter revealed that before the involvement of the Governor, the Akwa Marine gang leader, Emmanuel Ben who had been allegedly hiding in a bunker for weeks to evade arrest by the IG’s team following his involvement in the murder of two youths of his community was seen to have come out of hiding to throw a lavish victory party with over fifty gang members in attendance.
Their popular base for meetings and initiation is the Midim Primary School. Emmanuel Ben was quoted to have boasted that he is now a free warlord and is poised to show his opponents that he and not the IG is “in charge”. He claimed he was personally invited to the stakeholders meeting where he was assured by Governor Udom Emmanuel that his criminal charges would be dropped.
“Boys, get ready to work, our freedom is a further show of government support and recognition of this group. Not even Buhari or APC can stop us not now not in 2019”, he allegedly boasted.
Soon after the meeting, the cultist attacked one Udeme Utongwo who went home to inform his family of the burial of his late father in-law. Utongwo was allegedly trailed by one Mbata and six other members of the gang, robbed of his motorcycle, phone and some amount of money. He narrowly escaped with severe body injuries and is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. The assault was reported to the Essien Udim Divisional Police.
After the Governor’s meeting with the group leader, the group raised its initiation fees to #8000 per person. Many youths have joined the cult group out of fear and the inability of security agencies to protect non members from attack.
A retired civil servant who did not want his name in print called on the Governor to speak up on the matter since his person and office has been dragged into the alleged relationship with the gang, describing the decision of the Governor to keep silence in the face of escalating threat to the peace and security of the state as a breach of the oath of office he took and to publicly denounce the group if he is against the cult group and their activities.