The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly has descended into a serious
crisis after the state governor, Godswill Akpabio, personally supervised
the beating of a lawmaker he suspected to be politically opposed to him
and his loyalists, Premium Times has learnt.
Mr. Akpabio, witnesses
said, watched as his loyalists manhandled Onofiok Luke, chairman of the
House Committee on Finance and Appropriations, who was accused of being
rude to the governor after he rose in defense of another lawmaker
accused of challenging a loyalist of the governor at a caucus meeting
held two days earlier.
The governor, our sources said, beamed with
smiles as members of his kitchen cabinet, comprising Nse Ntuen, chairman
of Essien Udim local government and Emmanuel Ekon, a member
representing Abak/Ika/Etim Ekpo federal constituency in the House of
Representatives, assaulted Mr. Luke for being allegedly rude to the
governor.
The incident happened November 2 at a funeral service in honor of the mother-in-law of a state lawmaker, Gabriel Tobi, held in
Etim Ekpo local government area of the state.
Mr. Akpabio had at the
event summoned some lawmakers and tongue-lashed them for doing nothing
after Victor Udofia, a lawmaker representing Ikono/Ini state
Constituency, allegedly attacked his loyalist, Aniekan Akpan, a member
representing  Ukanafun state constituency, at a caucus meeting of the
House.

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WE learn t that after the incident, Mr. Akpabio
directed his aides to embark on a tour of media establishments to
compromise them and get them to drop stories on the accident.
Concerned
that the incident might do further damage to his image, our sources
within the administration said, the governor also hurriedly convened a
press conference where he allegedly bribed reporters with N50,000 each
not to report the incident.

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