By Ani Michael
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barr. Festus Keyamo SAN has written a letter seeking retraction of some portions on the September 27,2019, Page 13 edition of The Guardian Newspaper, linking him to the prosecution of Sen.Godswill Akpabio which according to him, at no time as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) lawyer prosecuted Sen. Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
In letter “RE: CROSSING OVER FROM CIVIL TO POLITICAL ACTIVISM”, dated September 30, 2019 and addressed to Mr. Anote Ajeluorou, Head Politics of The Guardian Group and signed by Barr. Keyamo, he denied prosecuting Sen. Godswill Akpabio for any graft and financial crimes related offences.
“My attention has been drawn to an article with the above-mentioned title which appeared at page 13 of The Guardian of Friday, September 27, 2019.
“In the said article, there was a clear factual inaccuracy when you suggested that I was engaged sometime in the immediate past by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prosecute Senator Godswill Akpabio for alleged graft.
“Nothing can be farther from the truth. I decided to keep a dignified silence in the last few weeks when some mischievous and/or ill-informed individuals kept spreading that narrative in the social media. The reason is that I do not always bother myself to respond to factually inaccurate issues concerning me that are raised from sources that are not credible news outlets, no matter how intense the discussions or debates about those issues become in the social media”, the letter read in parts.
Keyamo expressed shock for the wrong and poorly reportage of The Guardian Newspaper for not cross-checking fact before publication.
“You can then imagine my shock when a supposedly respectable paper like The Guardian swallowed that narrative hook, line and sinker without the slightest effort at fact-checking.
Even without searching on Google the cases I have prosecuted, a simple telephone call as a journalist to the spokesperson of the EFCC would have duly informed you that at no time was I ever engaged by the EFCC to prosecute Senator Godswill Akpabio and I never did. All the stories about that have been nothing but social media nonsense. As far as I can recollect, at no time was Senator Godswill Akpabio charged or arraigned by the EFCC in any court of law for any offence. So how come I was engaged to prosecute a non-existent Charge?”
He demanded a retraction of the portion in the article linking him to prosecution of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“Kindly retract that portion of your article, whilst I have chosen to ignore all the other innuendoes and subliminal messages you sought to pass across in the said article without hitting the nail on the head.”