An independent investigative journalist, David Hundeyin, has warned Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, not to threaten him with a lawsuit over his findings and publication on the killing of Miss Iniubong Umoren.
Hundeyin had made series of tweets and other online publications suggesting Akpabio and his wife played a part in the rape and eventual death of the 26-year- old Iniuobong Umoren.
Hundeyin further said Davok hotel located at 58, G Unit also recognised as plot S9,Unit G, Ewet Housing, Estate, Uyo which was used by the suspect(s) for their nefarious activities is owned by Akpabio’s wife.
Akpabio in his reaction through his lawyer, Otobong Inyang Esq, wrote to Hundeyin, demanding retraction of a news publication and an apology within 14 days failing which he would take legal action.
Rather than apologise, Hundeyin has asked for authorisation to Airtel and MTN to release the voice note of the conversation between the alleged suspects instead of threatening him with lawsuits, saying such will end up the matter.
In his handle @DavidHundeyin, he tweeted: “Instead of sending old policemen to fight with me on TV or threatening me with lawsuits, just authorise Airtel and MTN to release the voice note of the conversation between Frank Akpan and Kufre Effiong. Very simple and will end this controversy. No need for plenty talk.”
Akpabio, a former Senate Minority leader, made the demands in a letter he addressed to the author of the articles via BusinessDay Media organisation.
The letter signed by the Minister’s lawyer, Otobong Inyang Esq, dated Wednesday 12 May, 2021, was in response to series of tweets and other online publications by the author linking him (Akpabio) and his wife, Unoma Akpabio to have played a part in the rape and eventual death of Umoren.
In the letter Akpabio claimed the author had made statements suggesting the hotel located at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate, is also recognised as plot S9,Unit G, Ewet Housing, Estate, Uyo, which the suspect(s) used for their activities, is owned by his wife, which was not true.
According to Akpabio, the author’s publications give impression he and his wife were not only complicit in the death of Umoren but were also members of a syndicate specialising in the procurement, sale and/or use of human body parts for ritual among others.
The letter reads in part: ” Reporter, Columnist and Writer and in the said capacity, you issued a purported investigative report regarding the alleged abduction, rape and murder of one Iniobong Umoren, the late University of Uyo graduate.
“In the said Report which you published on Your Twitter handle @DavidHundeyin, Facebook Page/Timeline and on several online news channels/platforms such as NewsWireNGR of 1l/5/2021, e.t.c., you alleged that a certain Kufre Effiong was complicit in the alleged murder and also attempted to portray our clients as being members of an alleged syndicate responsible for perpetuating the dastardly act.
“In a paragraph in your said report, you made the statement thus: “Who exactly is Kufre Effiong? I eventually found the answer after scrolling through dozens, maybe hundreds of social media profiles with that name. Mr. Effiong as it turns out, is something of a big fish in Niger Delta civil service circles.
“After having alleged that subsequent to the abduction, rape and murder of the deceased, Uduak Akpan met with Kufre Effiong, you went on to state in another paragraph of your report thus:
“The second possibility is more prosaic, but no less horrific. Due to the convoluted house numbering system in Uyo, the property labeled as 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is also recognized on most digital maps as Plot S9, Unit G, Ewet Housing Estate.
“That address is also home to Davok Suites, which is a popular upmarket hotel in Uyo favoured by high profile guests including the Cameroon national team. This would be the ideal location for a trusted associate of a politician – say, a senior civil servant – to lay his head while running a clandestine errand for his boss.
“An errand such as sourcing human parts for use in a ritual sacrifice ahead of the upcoming election season, for example.
“Whatever it is that happened or is happening at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate – and for whose benefit – is a question only Kufre Effiong can answer…”
“In one of your Tweets via Twitter handle @DavidHundeyin of 11th May’ 2021, you published the following statement to the entire world:
“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 is owned by none other than Ekaette Akpabio, wife of Godswill Akpabio.”
The Minister demanded the retractions and public apology be published in NewswireNGR, the author’s Twitter Handle, Facebook Page/Timeline and all other online news/media platforms and channels he used to publish the publications.