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Ini Edo Arrests Tourism Consultants Over Failed Business Deal



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The just concluded 30th anniversary celebration of Akwa Ibom State
took a new dimension last weekend, in Uyo, with the arrest of two
indigenous tourism consultants to the week-long events.

Ini Edo, accusing the tourism experts of ‘stealing’ her idea of Ibom Fest, which was cancelled last year.

In a petition to the Police, Edo alleged that Utin and Ekpe sold the
idea of Ibom Fest to the State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and
renamed it “Orange September” the official brand of the 30th anniversary
of the State.

Instead of petitioning Akwa Ibom State Government or demanding the
arrest of the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Victor
Antai for allegedly stealing her initiative, the Governor’s Aide however
resorted to sending the Police after the tourism consultants. These are
same consultants who have been promoting the cultural heritage of the
State both at the national and international scene.

Ini Edo is said to have met with Non governmental organizations,
corporate organizations, groups and individuals, who had agreed to
sponsor the botched Ibom Fest and collected millions of Naira from the
sponsors and disappeared without paying her consultants, Joseph Utin and
Ubong Ekpe or accounting for the said money.

Angry over the success of the anniversary celebration, which she was
not part of, Ini Edo went to the Police and ordered the arrest of her
former consultants on a flimsy excuse that they sold her initiative of
Ibom Fest to the State Government.
Ini Edo, a native of ONNA, the same local government with Governor Udom
Emmanuel, who she is currently serving as Special Assistant, reported
the matter to the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, which in turn,
ordered its officers in Akwa Ibom to arrest the two consultants in Uyo
on Thursday.

The tourism experts will be flown to Abuja tomorrow for prosecution.

At the State Police Command’s Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia,
yesterday, the consultants debunked the claims by Ini Edo and described
the petition as baseless.