The State Security Service (SSS) Monday paraded a 29-year-old man, Mr. Adelola Tamunotoye Olaore, over a phantom plot to assassinate the senator representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Aloysius Etok.
The suspect confessed that he hatched the plot to extort money from Etok by exploiting the rift between him and the state Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, adding that if he had succeeded, he would have used the proceeds to pursue a Masters’ degree programme.
Akpabio and Etok, who are from the same senatorial district of the state, have been locked in a bitter rivalry following speculations that the governor is nursing an ambition to run for senatorial election in 2015.
According to the SSS Deputy Director Public Relations, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, security agents began investigation into the case following a petition from Etok that a man who called himself General Africa (an ex-militant) was planning to kill him.
She said on getting the petition, the agency directed the senator to play along with the suspect, which eventually led to his arrest on April 29.
The suspect, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Rivers State University of Technology, Port Harcourt, said the idea to extort Etok came to his mind when he stumbled on his telephone number during a visit to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) office in Port Harcourt.
He said being aware of the clash of interests between the senator and the governor over the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial seat in 2015, he seized the opportunity to contact him.
He explained that he introduced himself as General Africa, an ex-militant from Bayelsa State, to the senator and then told him that he had been hired by three of Akpabio’s loyalists to assassinate him.
According to the suspect, who confessed that he had never met the governor or any of his loyalists, he hatched the plot to defraud Etok using information he obtained from the media about a rift between him and Akpabio.
Ogar said Olaore would be charged to court and warned the public to be wary of individuals who exploit their differences with others for criminal ends.