DENNIS UDOMA, Uyo
Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Austin Okojie is under threats by a security personnel attached to the commission for allegedly squandering money meant for the employees of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state.
Although the Department of State Service (DSS), did not disclose the identity of the security officer at press time but, Mr. Okojie, who raised the alarm during an emergency meeting with the staff of the commission on Thursday in his office in Uyo, said the threats were usually made through anonymous phone calls and text messages at nights, where the said security staff promised to eliminate him if he failed to comply with the order to pay him an undisclosed sum within the week.
He said that he and members of his family have been living in fear since he started receiving the threat calls hence, the emergency to alert the other staff of the danger his life has been subjected.
The text messages sent to Mr. Okojie read as follows; “Oga Okojie, It’s a fool like you that says in your hearts and being, there is no God, because you are corrupt and have done abominable works and in you doeth no good (Psalm 14: 1). You must reward all the staff of INEC, AKS based on the money sent to them by the State Governor. You want to embezzle it for the sake of buy ‘n your cocaine. I am going to open your dirty can of worms to all the anti-graft agencies.
“Bet me, soon you will go in for it. For the Holy Bible says, whatever a man soweth that is what he shall reap. You sow to corruption and greed, your reward is death. “Idiot, imbecile, Ino, barawo, ikong ekpo. God will punish you 100 times including all ur households and the incoming and the unborn generations, except you share that money to all the staff”.
According to Okojie who said since he started receiving the messages, “My life is now is in serious danger so also the lives of members of my family because of these threats. I can no longer move freely as any other loyal citizen of this country. Now I live in utter fear of the unknown,” he said.
He disclosed that his life and those of members of his family could be made miserable through threats by someone he was not indebted to and never discussed with or negotiated any deal with officially and unofficially as all the allowances and claims due every staff and ad-hoc staff had since been paid.
The INEC boss however, urged the security agencies in the state to investigate the personnel behind the threats for possible prosecution expressing the fear that, if such dangerous situations were allowed to continue, many innocent lives would be rendered uncomfortable and endangered.
It was gathered that, the DSS had earlier acted on the petition sent to it by Okojie, which led to the arrest of the suspect who confessed to the allegations.
Daily Champion also learnt that, the alleged threat texts and messages were traced by the mobile phone operators and the name of the security officer identified as Mr. Asuquo David.
The State Director of the Department of State Service, Mr. Toma Minti, said the text message was traced to one of the security guards attached to the commission.
Minti, who did not reveal the name of the security guard confirmed that, the man actually confessed to sending threatening text messages to Okojie.
“The thing is that one of the security guards was the one with the text message. We have been able to get him and he has confessed. We have passed him to the police,” he said.
It is recalled that, the Resident Electoral Commissioner was earlier accused of collecting an undisclosed sums of money from the Governor before the commencement of the 2015 general elections, a situation he had denied severally in a section of the media.