The Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Media, Richard Peters has refused to retract a statement credited to him that Senator Bassey Akpan, the Akwa Ibom governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party, YPP was released from incarceration on health grounds.
Peters during a live TV interview had claimed that Senator Akpan, popularly known as OBA, was granted bail because of his mental health which was in jeopardy at the Ikot Ekpene Correctional centre.
But, a group from the Senator’s local government under the aegis of ”Concerned Ibiono Ibom Youths’ irked by the comment, mandated Peters to retract the statement and tender apology to the Senator within 72 hours or risk legal action.
The youths in a statement that was copied to the Commissioner of Police, said Peters’ position diminished the image of the Senator who is their son before the right thinking members of the public even as they vowed to take appropriate actions if he refuses.
However, Peters in a statement obtained by our correspondent, insisted that he stands by his position.
He said that paragraphs 10,11 and 12 of the affidavit of the applicant deposed to by one Iniobong Utuk on behalf of the applicant (Senator Bassey Albert Akpan) at the vacation court in Port Harcourt, praying for bail confirmed his claims.
According to him, “The said paragraphs clearly mentioned that the convict was seeking for bail on health grounds, and that he had a long standing case of Hypertension and Diabetes which the convict/applicant feared might lead to his sudden death if he was still kept in solitary confinement at Ikot Ekpene Correctional Facility. This according to him is because he (OBA) needed specialized attention and medication which were not possible at the Correctional Centre.
“When I stated unequivocally that Senator Bassey Albert Akpan was granted bail on health grounds at a vacation court in the city of Port Harcourt, I was merely saying what I had read from the affidavit of the applicant which he filed in Court and from the certified true copy (CTC) of the Court Order which granted the bail application as prayed for by the applicant himself, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan.
“I still stand on my earlier position that OBA was granted bail on health grounds. I mentioned the issue of mental health, as stated in the affidavit which clearly prayed the court that Bassey Albert is hypertensive.
“Empirical research suggests that hypertension often results in diminished brain blood flow and metabolism. These issues are believed to affect neuronal metabolism, neurochemical transmission and thus diminished brain function.
“This means it is a health condition that affects the brain, because it leads to stroke. So hypertension is in the wide range of conditions that affects mood, thinking and behaviour of OBA and clinically it will be correct to say that he has a mental case.
“I have called you all here to be aware that Senator Bassey Albert Akpan was granted bail on Health Grounds as seen on the court papers which I have here to share with all of you and to further maintain my position that what I said at the studio of ABN TV was the fact as reflected on the applicant’s deposition and nothing more, and I stand by my statement.”