A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) and Cross River State Senatorial aspirant, Joe Agi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has referred to Ex-Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba, Late Matthew Mbu and Paul Erokoro, SAN, as ”thieves.”
In a viral video released during a consultative meeting with members of APC in Ishibori, Ogoja local government area of the State, the Senatorial aspirant accused them of buying government property during the third republic and also took a swipe at the former Attorney General of the Federation, Sen. Kanu Agabi.
Agi claimed that the 1995 communal clash between Ishibori and Bekwerra would have been settled if Chief Agabi didn’t turn down his request for settlement. According to him, “I have fought very hard for Ogoja people; not because I hate Bekwarra people. You are aware of the fight between you and Ugboro people. When I saw the case, I went to my senior brother, Kanu Agabi and said why not try and settle these people; let’s not go to court because from the papers I see, that land belongs to Ishibori but well, I’m always a peacemaker, they went to court and I won the case in High Court, in Appeal and Supreme Court for Ogoja.
“I have always challenged politicians, whether those in APC or PDP, or those who support me or not, take this statement, challenge me anywhere. There’s no politician that has contributed to the wealth of this state more than myself. And I say this because I’ll give you the facts and figures.
“As a young Lawyer, some of you were quite young; they sold Obudu ranch, they sold robber estate in Akamkpa, sold all those things, sold bulldozers and in fact they sold bulldozers for N100 at that time and I said God forbid. I formed what’s called Cross River Redemption Movement and took federal government to court. I went to court, made trouble, I was arrested, detained but I said they were stealing the commonwealth of the people. Today, all those estates, I won, and all returned to Cross River State.
“I challenge them, they are all my friends, I ask them what they have done that I’ve not done but there are things I’ve done that they have not done. You deceive the people to elect you and you go there to mess things up.
“Until MT Mbu died; he was not talking to me because he brought someone to come and buy those things. Paul Erokoro, Ndoma-Egba were indicted because they bought bulldozers for N100. It was published in law reports; the records are there. They say I indicted them and that I spoiled their names. I didn’t spoil their names, I couldn’t just understand how; even a tyre of bulldozer should be more than N100. That’s why I’m arrogant to them to say look, you’re all thieves,” he stated.
When Newspot contacted the ex-Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) via phone on Friday, Ndoma-Egba regretted the action of the aspirant, saying that the man has claimed he has released another video retracting his first comment.
“When I saw the video, I sent him a text that I was watching your video. First, I am not contesting elections against him. I am not from the North, how do I come in. Secondly, even in the correction or retraction he made, he said that I was a Commissioner, I wasn’t a Commissioner during that time, I had left office as a Commissioner when those estates were privatized
“Thirdly, I had never owned a bulldozer. I had never bought a bulldozer. I had never any need for bulldozer. I think it just madness on his part, or desperation. I don’t understand what prompted him to do that, because No 1, the facts are wrong, I never bought any bulldozer, yes I was involved in the privatization exercise.
“As a lawyer, my law firm was retained to perfect the agreement between government and the lease. I was professionally engaged to do that, that was my only connection with it, government negotiated the terms with leases, and I was invited to come and perfect the agreement, make sure stamp duties were paid and that was all.
“I don’t know how my name came in. I don’t know how denigrating my name is going to help his elections. It is not only me that he denigrated in that video, he denigrated M. T. Mbu, he denigrated Senator Kanu Agabi, then Paul Erokoro.
“How did we come into his campaign? M. T. Mbu is from the Boki, he is not involved in the election. He said he fought government, there is nobody who has fought government more than Victor Ndoma in Cross River when I was Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, we fought until we removed Kefas, the then Military Administrator.
“So, I don’t know, he made a second video and I don’t understand his campaign, Edem, He went to Ogoja, he told Ogoja people how he fought for them against Bekwara, meanwhile, Bekwara is part of the constituency he is going to get a vote. To me, I just thought that the whole thing is too idiotic for me to response to.
“If you Google my name, nobody has ever associated my name with fraud but Google his own name, every Judge that has been sanctioned in Nigeria, Joe’s name is mention.”