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First Lady’s Office: Akpabio in the Eye of the Storm Again for Creating Office For Wife

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio is again in the eye of the storm for creating an office for his wife, Ekaette Unoma Akpabio.

Unoma is the founder of Family Life Enhancement Initiative (FLEI), a non-governmental organization.

Sources told Matrixnews that many senators were disappointed with Akpabio’s opening of the Office of the First Lady to the Senate President, which did not exist in the previous Assemblies.

“There is outrage in the National Assembly because Senate President Akpabio created an office for his wife, Unoma. There is now an office of First Lady to the Senate President,” a source said.

Akpabio is serving as the 15th president of the Nigerian Senate. He emerged as President of the 10th Assembly after securing 63 votes to beat a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul-Azziz Yari who secured 46 votes.

He served as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District from 2015 to 2019 and also served as Minister for Niger Delta Affairs from 2019 to 2022. Akpabio was the governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015.

Meanwhile, Akpabio is no stranger to controversies. In August, Matrixnews reported that fellow senators were angry with Akpabio for exposing that they received bribe money from ministerial screening in a viral video.

Akpabio is heard in the video telling members of the upper legislative chamber that an undisclosed amount of money had been sent to each of them to use to enjoy their holidays.

Akpabio said this while addressing his colleagues before the adjournment of a motion moved by one of the senators.

In the viral video, Akpabio said, “In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the clerk of the national assembly.”

But when his statement sparked a rowdy moment on the floor of the Senate, he rephrased the statement and said, “I withdraw that statement. In order to allow you to enjoy your holiday, the senate president has sent prayers to your mailboxes to assist you to go on a safe journey and return.”

The Senate proceeded on vacation after concluding the screening of ministerial nominees sent to the National Assembly by President Bola Tinubu.

Businessmatrixnews learnt that the senators were upset that Akpabio exposed that they got bribe money from ministerial screening. Sources told Matrixnews that the aggrieved senators were unhappy about the ridicule and embarrassment the former Akwa Ibom governor’s unguarded statement had brought to them.

Sources in the National Assembly told Matrixnews that N2 million was sent to each of the senators by Akpabio who had received N1 billion from ministerial nominees.

Matrixnews learnt that the senators described Akpabio’s action as blackmail and to ensure they received the stick from their constituents for a “paltry sum” while he had pocketed the bulk of the bribe money paid to them.

“Senators are upset with Senate President Akpabio for exposing the bribe money they get for ministerial screening. A paltry N2 million was sent to each of them. They are angry that now Nigerians know how they are bribed to allow ministerial nominees to take a bow and go,” a source had said.

“The Senate President collected over N1 billion from the screened ministers and sent only N2 million to the account of each of 109 senators, totalling N218 million,” another source had said.

“He never disclosed to the senators the source of the N2 million each sent to their accounts. Rather, what Akpabio did was to blackmail the Senators on Monday night in an open live television cast that money had been sent to the accounts of Senators for holidays. Then the following morning, senators received only N2 million each in their accounts while the senate president pocketed hundreds of millions of naira.

“What a shame and highest treachery and blackmail by the Senate President. Senators are getting ready for a battle with him because this has pitched Senators against their constituents who never knew that they were given only N2 million each for the so-called ‘allowance for holidays/vacation.’”

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